The boys’ basketball team fell to their rival, the Male Bulldogs, on Friday night by a score of 56-45.
The game featured two teams that struggled to get into any sort of rhythm on the offensive end, partially due to strong defense by both squads. Both teams saw a lot of action at the free throw line, as both teams ended up in the bonus in each half.
After a delayed start to the game that was slated to begin at 7:30, Manual got off to a fast start with Brock Cassin (#23, 12) making a quick layup on the offensive end and then blocking Male’s first shot attempt into the bleachers. However, those two points would be the only points scored in the first quarter for Manual. Male answered the bell, scoring 12 unanswered to close out the first eight minutes of play.
Manual used good ball movement to expose the defense and get shooters open, but the shots just weren’t falling on a night when nothing seemed to go as planned.
Eli Roberts (#24, 9) made two free throws with 6:27 left in the second quarter to end Manual’s nine minute long scoring drought. Roberts would sink two more free throws in the quarter to help give some life to the Crimson offense.
Cassin (#23, 12) added two more blocks in the second quarter to give him a total of three in the first half. Will Britt (#3, 12) also tried to spark the Crimson offense by getting a tough shot to fall and drawing the foul, but he missed the free throw. The game went to halftime with Male leading 22-13.
The third quarter quickly turned into the Jordan McClendon (#21, 11) show as he flew through the lane and converted on a near-impossible layup. He also contributed steadily on defense by getting a steal and contesting shots taken by Male. Jonah Gellhaus (#10, 11) also showed his scoring ability by hitting two mid range jumpers in the third quarter. Male drained a deep buzzer-beating three pointer at the end of the quarter that killed the momentum the Crimsons had been building.
The fourth quarter was a slew of free throws from both teams, with neither of them converting at a high level. A technical foul on Gellhaus (#10, 11) gave Male two free throws that seemed to seal the door shut on any possibility of a Crimson comeback. In the end, it was the Male Bulldogs who came out on top, 56-45.
Next week Manual begins the 25th district tournament. The opponent and game time have yet to be determined, but it will be at Manual.