Mavericks finish second at North State Tournament

By CATHRYN CARTWRIGHT,

The Manchester Academy Mavericks recently placed second in the MAIS AA North State Tournament held last week at Marshall Academy.

Game 1

In their first game of the North State Tournament on Wednesday, Feb. 13, the Mavericks went up against Oak Hill Academy out of West Point.

Coach Jacob Iles said that the Manchester Boys held the lead for most of the game, getting ahead by as many as 7 points.  Things heated up in the 4th quarter, with the Mavericks leading Oak Hill by one point.  A struggle for the ball with eight seconds left in the final quarter led to a missed shot by the Oak Hill boys, allowing the Mavericks to scrape out a win with a score of 55-54.

"That was a close win but we survived," said Coach Iles. "We advanced and that out us in the North State Semi-Final game."

Game 2

Advancing to the second round of the North State Basketball Tournament, the Mavericks next faced up against the host school, Marshall Academy on Friday, Feb. 15.

Coach Iles said that the Manchester boys were a little shell shocked at the end of the first quarter, with Marshall leading 18-10.

After changing up his strategies on offense and defense, the Mavericks wee able to stabilize the game. Catching up on the scoreboard the Manchester boys were only down by four points at the half.  Coach Iles said that the Mavericks opened the 3rd quarter by heating things up with Marshall, tying the game, before Marshall turned the tables again. Going into the 4th quarter Marshall was leading again by about eight points, but the Mavericks were not ready to give up. 

"We started hitting shot after shot," said Coach Iles. "Parks Poe scored most of his points in the 4th quarter, and Ty Kilpatrick hit a 3 from the corner and we were able to go from a deficit to a seven or eight point lead."

The fourth quarter came to a boiling point when Marshall began to close the gap again.  With about five seconds left in the game, Manchester was up by only three points.  A missed shot from Marshall at the last second allowed the Mavericks another win with a score of 62-59, advancing them to the state finals.

Game 3

The Manchester Mavericks put forth an amazing effort in the North State Championship game against Greenville St. Joe on Saturday, Feb. 16

Coach Iles said that the Mavericks had a tough time containing one of the St. Joe Players who led them in scoring by shooting numerous 3-pointers and getting inside under the goal.

"We threw everything we had at him and nothing seemed to work, which was frustrating," he said.

Coach Iles added that the Manchester boys fell behind early in the game, but were able to take the lead in the 4th quarter.  St. Joe turned the tables on the Mavericks at the end, winning the championship game 63-54.

"I felt like emotionally from the night before beating Marshall, our guys didn't have a whole lot left in the tank," said Coach Iles. "They were kind of spent. We made that one run at them, and then when they punched back we had really nothing left."

Despite losing the championship, the Mavericks still brought home the #2 in North State Trophy as the runners-up, and still qualify to play in the State Tournament this week at Benton Academy.

Maverick players Dylan Dendy, Parks Poe, and Jon Riley Poe were named to the MAIS AA North State All Tournament Team.

Going forward, the Mavericks were scheduled to play Clinton Christian School Tuesday, Feb. 19 at 5:15 p.m. in the State Tournament hosted at Benton Academy. Scores for that game were not available by press time.