Coach Darnell’s first win, 62-51 over West –
Story and photos by Mark Carpenter –
After an opening Murderer’s Row weekend that saw them facing an Ohio Elite Eight team and a Kentucky Sweet 16 squad, Coach Joey Darnell and his Manchester Greyhounds returned to their own friendly confines on Tuesday, Dec. 6 to entertain the Portsmouth West Senators in the Hounds’ home opener. The return to the Hound Pound was just the remedy the Greyhounds needed as Manchester led most of the way and picked up their first win of the season, placing three players in double figures and downing the Senators 62-51.
Things looked a little rough early on for the Hounds as West came out of the gate with a trio of three-point goals, two by L.T. Maynard, as the visitors grabbed a 10-3 lead and forced an MHS timeout. Another long trey, this one by Jordan Frasure, kept the Senators on top 13-5, but the Hounds answered with an 8-0 run, all from senior Kaulen Cox, whose three from the top of the key tied the game at 13. After West took the lead back, a steal and layup by Jamie Combs left the two teams deadlocked at 15 apiece after the first quarter.
Three minutes into the second period, a basket by Shaun Gould gave the Greyhounds their first lead of the game at 18-17, beginning a flurry of baskets from both sides. Baskets by Combs and Mason Bilyeu put the Hounds up three and a later jumper by Combs kept that lead at 26-23. Two Cox free throws extended the lead to five and with 1:34 left in the half, Bryan Young went to the stripe for two shots. He hit the first and missed the second, but hustling all the way, grabbed the offensive rebound and scored to put his team up 31-25.
After West got a bucket from Maynard, a three-pointer at the buzzer by Cox send the home team to the locker room holding a 34-27 advantage.
Early in the third period, Combs nailed a three on a nicely executed out-of-bounds play and then two buckets from Colton Thornburg capped a 7-0 run that gave the Hounds their biggest lead of the game to that point at 43-30. The Senators rebounded with back-to-back scores, but late in the frame, a Bilyeu bucket made it 49-35, and after West’s Tre Patrick scored a deuce, the third quarter ended with the Greyhounds holding a seemingly comfortable 49-37 lead.
The lead after three turned out to be not so comfortable as the Senators rallied with a 9-2 run to begin the fourth quarter, cutting the deficit down to 51-46 with five minutes to play. The Greyhounds did not come unnerved and a put back score by Gould put the lead back at seven. West struck back again with two baskets and a free throw to narrow the lead to three with 2:41 to play but that was the last time the visitors would change their number on the scoreboard.
Cox hit a pair from the stripe to make it 56-51 with 1:31 left and when the Hounds got the ball back, Combs was fouled with just 37 ticks remaining. The junior guard hit both attempts and after West misfired on a three, Thornburg was fouled. He missed the front end of the one and one, but grabbed his own rebound and then was fouled again with 19 seconds left, and this time, he sank both shots. Another pair from the stripe just seconds later by Cox would be the final point sin the first Manchester victory of the year, as they outlasted the Senators by a final count of 62-51.
For the third game in succession, Cox was the top point man for the Hounds, this time pouring in 20 points, including a perfect 7 for 7 from the charity stripe. It was also a big night for Thornburg, who turned in a double double performance of 14 points and 13 rebounds. Combs had his best game of the season, scoring 13 points , hauling in 6 rebounds, and garnering 4 steals.
West placed a quartet of players in double figures, led by Maynard with 17. Patrick and Buster Boggs each scored 11, with Frasure adding 10.
The Greyhounds also picked up the win in the preceding JV contest, riding 12 points each from Jacob Calvert and Ethan Pennywitt to a 39-25 victory.
The Greyhounds will be back in action on Friday, Dec. 9 in their first Southern Hills Athletic Conference battle on the road at Fayetteville and will come right back on Saturday night, on the road again to face a very tough Portsmouth Clay squad.
15 12 10 14 –51
15 19 15 13 –62
P. West (51): Maynard 7 0-1 17, Patrick 5 1-5 11, Boggs 4 3-6 11, Frasure 4 0-0 10, Blacker 1 0-0 2, Team 21 4-12 51.
Manchester (62): Cox 5 7-7 20, Thornburg 6 2-3 14, Combs 5 2-2 13, Young 2 2-4 6, Gould 2 1-2 5, Bilyeu 2 0-0 4, Team 22 14-18 62.
P. West (5): Maynard 3, Frasure 2
Manchester (4): Cox 3, Combs 1