After dropping a 40-23 decision to Eastern last Thursday night, Coach Kyle Brewer and his eighth grade Manchester Greyhounds boys squad are still searching for that elusive first win in the 2013-14 campaign.
It was a disastrous second half that doomed the Hounds in the Eastern contest. After trailing by just two at the half, the Hounds were outscored 28-15 in the second half as the visiting Warriors cruised to the win.
The first half of this affair was not going to make any “this is how you play offense” instructional films as both teams struggled to find the net. An offensive rebound and put back by James Arias closed out the first quarter and left the Hounds on 6-4 and after Eastern tied the score early in the second, neither team scored for over four minutes. Back to back Eastern baskets gave the Warriors a 12-6 lead but a basket at the buzzer by Trent Dryden sliced the visitors’ halftime margin to 12-8.
Early in the third quarter, the Hounds regained the lead on five consecutive points by Gage Lucas, including a three-pointer and a nice steal and layup that made it 13-12, but that turned out to be the final highlight of the evening for the home team. The hot-shooting Warriors finished the third quarter on a 14-0 run, capped off by a Clayton Purdy three-point goal as Eastern took a double digit lead at 24-13 into the final six minutes.
Manchester got a bucket from Ethan Pennywitt early in the fourth and two more from Mason Bilyeu but the big deficit was just too much to overcome as the Warriors even added to their lead, finishing off the Hounds by a final score of 40-23.
“I thought we showed some good signs throughout the game,” said Coach Brewer. “Defensively we were getting stops in the half court but we couldn’t capitalize on the other end. Our bigs did a nice job of crashing the boards and our guards did a decent job of protecting the ball in the first half.”
“We justhave to continue to get better daily and build upon the positives that were present in this game.”
Manchester, which dropped to 0-3 on the year, was led in scoring by Lucas with 9 points, with Bilyeu adding 4. The Hounds also were in action on Saturday where they lost their fourth straight, falling again at home, this time to the Fairfield Lions 36-26. They will not be in action again until after the Christmas break, traveling to North Adams on Jan. 2.
EASTERN 4 8 12 16 —40
MANCHESTER 6 2 5 10 —23
Eastern (40): Gardner 1 0-0 3, C. Purdy 4 1-2 10, Lainhart 1 0-0 2, G. Purdy 1 2-4 5, Hiser 3 0-1 6, Tolle 3 0-0 6,
Stivers 2 0-0 4, Stamper 2 0-1 4, Team 17 3-8 40.
Manchester (23): Arias 1 0-0 2, Pennywitt 1 0-0 2, Griffin 1 0-2 2, Bilyeu 2 0-0 04, Lucas 4 0-0 9, Grooms 1 0-0 2,
Dryden 1 0-0 2, Team 11 0-2 23.
Three-Point Goals: Eastern- Gardner 1, C. Purdy 1, G. Purdy 1
Manchester- Lucas 1