It took three tries but new Manchester boys basketball coach Kyle Pertuset finally picked up his first win as a Greyhound as the Hounds hosted and defeated the Fairfield Lions in come-from-behind fashion, 63-57 on Dec. 8 in Manchester. The game was a Southern Hills Athletic Conference match up and the win evened the Hounds’ conference mark at 1-1 in the early going.
The Greyhound offense was hitting on all cylinders in the first quarter on Tuesday night, especially the hot hand of sophomore guard Jamie Combs. Combs hit a pair of three-pointers in the opening stanza and another from inside the arc for 8 points as the home team raced to an 18-14 lead after one period.
The momentum turned in the second quarter and the Manchester offense went a bit stale, scoring just 9 points while the visiting Lions got a pair of treys from Jensen Daulton to turn the scoreboard and give Fairfield a 30-27 halftime advantage.
The Lions would increase that lead in the third period, though the Hounds stayed close with a pair of long threes by senior Sean Frost and two buckets by big man Cole Pribble. Even with those offensive efforts, the Hounds couldn’t stop Fairfield’s Ethan Putnam on the other end as Putnam racked up 9 third quarter points and the two teams headed to the final eight minutes with Fairfield seemingly in control and leading 48-42.
Still holding the lead about midway through the fourth quarter, Fairfield coach Everett Snyder decided to put his team in a stall, a move that would backfire as the Greyhound defense began to force Lion turnovers and capitalize on the other end as the home team roared from behind.
The Hounds did a lot of their comeback damage in the final eight minutes from the free throw line, especially after they regained the lead and the Lions were forced to foul. In the final period, Manchester hit 9 of 12 from the charity stripe, including a perfect 4 for 4 from Bryan Young. Add in four points each from Frost, Pribble, and Colton Thornburg and the Greyhounds turned a six-point deficit into a six-point victory, coming from behind late to down the Lions 63-57 for their first SHAC win of 2015-16.
“I am extremely proud of the way our kids fought back, not only in the game, but in practice and preparation for the game,” said Coach Pertuset after the win. “Good things will happen when we keep our nose to the grindstone and we know better things are coming down the road if we work hard, persevere, and win the moments, practice by practice, possession by possession, and game by game.”
Sean Frost led the winners with 19 points, described by the coaches as a “quiet 19.” Bryan Young added 12, with Cole Pribble also hitting double figures with 10. Jamie Combs added 9 and Colton Thornburg 7 for the Hounds.
Fairfield was led in the defeat by 17 points from Wyatt Evans, 15 from Ethan Putnam, and 14 from Jensen Daulton.
The Greyhounds are back in SHAC action on Friday, Dec. 11 when they host the Whiteoak Wildcats with the JV tip off set for 6 p.m.
FHS 14 16 18 9 —57
MHS 18 9 15 21 —63
FHS (57): Putnam 7 0-0 15, Evans 6 5-6 15, Daulton 4 2-2 14, Current 2 0-0 4, Harris 3 1-2 7, Team 22 8-10 57.
MHS (63): Combs 3 1-2 9, Aldridge 1 0-0 2, Frost 7 3-3 19, DeAtley 1 0-1 2, Thornburg 2 3-3 7, Young 4 4-4 12, Cox 1 0-0 2, Pribble 5 0-1 10, Team 25 11-14 63.
FHS- Putnam 1, Daulton 4
MHS- Combs 2, Frost 2