It didn’t count in the standings but for a first-year head coach, a win in an exhibition game cane be quite important. That ws the case for Coach Kyle Pertuset and his Manchester Greyhounds as they traveled to Clermont County on Nov. 14 to battle the Felicity Cardinals in the annual Foundation Game that has become a tradition in the preseason between the two schools.
For Coach Pertuset and the Greyhounds, it was an opportunity to get on the floor in uniform, in front of a crowd, and in game conditions, as the Foundation Games are played just like a regular season game, four eight-minute quarters. It turned out to be a successful exhibition for the visiting Hounds as they jumped to a big early lead, then had to hang on to top the Cardinals by a final score of 69-61. The winners placed three players in double figures, paced by 26 points from senior Sean Frost.
“We did not play as well as we would have liked , but anytime you have the poise to hold on to a game on the road and secure the victory, you take away positive building blocks,” said Coach Pertuset.
Manchester came out like gangbusters on Saturday night, outscoring the Cards 21-8 in the first period. Frost was nearly unstoppable in the first eight minutes, pouring in 13 points to help the Greyhounds race out in front. The Hounds also got two buckets from Justin Aldridge in building the double-digit advantage.
The second quarter was the polar opposite of the first as the host Cardinals woke up and turned the tables, outscoring the Hounds 18-8 to turn what began as a rout into a close contest at halftime. The Hounds struggled on offense in the second quarter, getting a three-pointer from Rickey DeAtley, but seeing Frost held without a field goal after his hot start. When the intermission rolled around, the guests had seen their lead shrink to 29-26.
The roller coaster contest made another twist and turn in the third quarter, this time again in the favor of the Greyhounds. Behind a pair of threes from Bryan Young, two more buckets from Frost, a pair of scores from Colton Thornburg, and a defense that allowed just three field goals, Manchester sprinted out to another double digit advantage, leading at the end of three quarters of action, 49-35.
The home team wasn’t finished however, even with eight minutes to play and a 14-point deficit. The Cards roared back, outscoring Manchester 26-20 in the final quarter, but with the aid of a pair of buckets off the bench by Mason Bilyeu and 10 free throws, the Greyhounds were able to hold on for the 69-61 victory.
It was Frost getting his senior year off to a rousing start and leading the Hounds with 26 points, joined in double figures by Bryan Young and Colton Thornburg who added 12 apiece. Justin Aldridge and Jamie Combs each scored 6 for the winners, and Coach Pertuset was impressed with his team’s balance.
“Our balance on offense is the key for the season,” said the Manchester head coach. “We have multiple guys that can share the scoring load, and if we buy into that, we are going to be difficult to guard.”
The next test for the Hounds comes Friday night in the annual Southern Hills Athletic Conference Preview, which will be held on their home floor. Even though it will be just two quarters of action, it will be a good early measuring stick for Manchester as they have a 9 p.m. tip off scheduled against the two-time defending district champion Peebles Indians.
The regular season begins for the Greyhounds on Tuesday, Dec. 1 when they will play host to Lucasville Valley.