By Mark Carpenter
Having the distinction of being the first county team to see tournament action, the Manchester Lady Greyhounds made the most of the opportunity, traveling to Northwest High School for a first round sectional game against the Sciotoville East Lady Tartans. The Lady Hounds put together a strong defensive effort and took control of the game early, coasting to a 65-36 win in which every Manchester player who dressed also scored.
“We were a little more athletic than them and were able to do what we wanted to do for most of the game,” said Manchester head coach Jason Franklin in a radio interview after the game. “We are really starting to play some good man to man defense right now.”
“Other than the Peebles game last Saturday, I’m jut really pleased with the way we are playing at this point in the season. We seem to be where we need to be. We are doing a lot of things the way we want to do them right now.”
The Lady Hounds made a defensive statement early on in this contest, allowing the Lady Tartans just a single basket in the first quarter. Meanwhile, Manchester got 8 points from Rainelle Casey, 4 form Hannah Rideout, and a Tess Burns three-pointer to take a 17-2 lead after one period of play.
The second quarter was a little more even as Manchester head coach Jason Franklin began to use his bench freely, but the Lady Hounds still put up 19 points in the frame, 7 of those from Burns. At one point in the second quarter, East cut the lead down to 10 points but by halftime, Manchester had nearly doubled that, pulling back out in front 36-17.
The third quarter proved to be another explosive one on offense for the Lady Hounds as again they fired in 19 points, 6 of those from point guard Morgan Johnson, plus three-point goals from Burns and Bethany Sweeney. At the end of three periods, the outcome of this one was long decided, with Manchester leading 55-25.
In the final eight minutes, it was an opportunity for Coach Franklin to get his reserves some tournament playing time and the Lady Hounds got two baskets from Kylie Lucas and an old-fashioned three-point play from Raeanna Stamm as they advanced in tournament play with a 65-36 victory.
“It was good for those girls to get some playing time tonight,” said Coach Franklin. “They did a nice job for us in the fourth quarter.”
In the win, Manchester placed four players in double figures, paced by 13 points from Tess Burns. Morgan Johnson and Hannah Rideout added 12 each, with Rainelle Casey scoring 10.
As a reward for their win, the Lady Hounds (12-9) will move to a sectional championship game against an all too familiar foe as they will face the North Adams Lady Devils on Saturday afternoon. That game will be played at Northwest High School with tip off scheduled for 2:45 p.m. The winner will move on to district play at Jackson High School on Feb. 20.
“North Adams is very talented and very physical and we need to come here Saturday ready to play,” said Franklin.
Mark Carpenter can be reached at 937-544-2391 or on Twitter @adamscosports.
S. East (36): Russell 2 2-2 8, Carver 2 0-0 4, Meadows 5 1-3 11, Lockhart 1 0-0 3, Dingess 1 2-3 5, Brown 2 1-3 5,
Team 13 6-11 36.
Manchester (65): Burns 3 5-7 13, Adams 0 1-4 1, Johnson 6 0-1 12, Boyd 2 0-0 4, Wilbur 1 0-0 2, Rideout 5 2-4 12,
Casey 5 0-0 10, Hamilton 0 1-2 1, Sweeney 1 0-2 3, Stamm 1 1-1 3, Lucas 2 0-0 4, Tteam 26 10-21 65.
Three-Point Goals: S. East- Russell 2, Lockhart 1, Dingess 1
Manchester- Burns 2, Sweeney 1