Bobcats run away from Manchester 70-58 –
By Mark Carpenter –
With Christmas Day fast approaching, the colors of red and green can be seen all around as part of holiday decorations, but on Saturday night the manchester greyhounds may have had enough “green” to last them through the New Year. The Green Bobcats played the Grinch on Saturday as they shot their way to a 70-58 win over the host Hounds, a final score which doesn’t reflect how one-sided the contest actually was.
The Bobcats were led by a pair of 24-point scorers, with sharpshooter Tanner Kimbler bombing away from the outside and partner Gage Sampson slashing through the paint. Those two plus a poor shooting night were too much for the Hounds to overcome as the loss dropped them to 2-4 on the season.
The week was a roller coaster ride for Coach Joey Darnell and the Manchester squad as they pulled off a bug conference upset on Tuesday with a win at Eastern Brown, then came back home on Friday and Saturday and fell flat in two lopsided losses to Lynchburg (64-37) and Green.
In Saturday night’s contest, the Greyhounds forged an early tie on an old-fashioned three-point play by Jamie Combs, but saw the visiting Bobcats score 20 of the game’s next 24 points, including a 12-0 run as Green took control and silenced a large Manchester crowd, taking a 23-7 lead.
The Greyhounds managed five of the period’s final seven points, getting a three-pointer from Gage Lucas in the final seconds, but still found themselves staring at a 25-12 deficit after the first eight minutes of play.
The home team got buckets from Combs and Tanner Utterback early in the second stanza, but a three-pointer by Kimbler stopped that short surge, but the Hounds continued to scratch their way closer. A steal and score by Combs made it 32-20, but the Bobcats responded with five straight to extend their advantage back to 17 points.
A three-point play by Combs cut it back to 14 and later baskets by Shaun Gould and Jacob Calvert got the margin back down to 12, but a Sampson trey with six seconds left in the half send the Bobcats to the intermission with a 42-27 lead.
Any thoughts that the Greyhounds may have had of a miraculous comeback were extinguished in a third quarter dominated by the Bobcats. Another Kimbler trey stretched the Green lead out to 20 and a later 12-2 run capped by a Sampson three-point play put the Greyhounds in a 58-31 hole. After a basket by Manchester’s Logan Hayslip, Green’s Caden Brammer scored as the third period clock ran down to give his team a 60-33 advantage.
With the huge lead, the Bobcats were content to take their time in the final eight minutes and not attack the basket, and the Hounds took advantage, finally showing signs of life, but too late. Manchester went on a 14-2 run to cut the Green lead to 64-47 with 3:05 to play and three-pointers by Combs and Lucas sliced the margin to 77-53, but with less than a minute of regulation remaining.
A pair of stick back buckets off the bench by Trent Dryden and Jalen James finished off the home team’s scoring for the evening as the Green lead proved too much to overcome and the Hounds suffered their fourth loss of the season by the final count of 70-58.
In the loss, Jamie Combs continued his solid offensive play by tallying 25 points, the only Greyhound to reach double figures. The Hounds got 9 points from Shaun Gould and 6 each from Gage Lucas and Jacob Calvert, with Trent Dryden adding 5.
The road gets no easier for the Hounds as they faced a tough Southern Hills Athletic Conference road game on Tuesday night, traveling to Ripley to face a Blue Jay team unbeaten in conference play. On Friday, the Hounds will travel to Fayetteville looking to avenge an earlier season overtime conference loss.
(Story update: On Monday afternoon, Coach Darnell turned in his resignation as the boys varsity coach. Read the complete report on the front page of today’s issue.)
25 17 18 10 –70
12 15 6 25 –58
Green (70): Blizzard 3 0-0 6, Sampson 7 8-8 24, Kimbler 7 5-6 24, Huffman 2 0-1 4, Carver 3 4-5 10, Brammer 1 0-0 2, Team 23 17-20 70.
Manchester (58): Gould 4 1-2 9, Lucas 2 0-0 6, Combs 10 3-4 25, Hayslip 1 0-0 2, Utterback 1 1-2 3, James 1 0-0 2, Dryden 2 0-0 5, Calvert 3 0-0 6, Team 24 5-8 58.
Green (7): Sampson 2, Kimbler 5
Manchester (5): Lucas 2, Combs 2, Dryden 1