Parks Poe scores 31 points to lead MA to victory over Benton

By CATHRYN CARTWRIGHT,

The Manchester Mavericks basketball team is now 3-1 after securing a conference win over Benton Academy on Tuesday with a score of 55-44.

Benton's loss changes the Raiders record to 0-9 for the season.

Manchester's Coach Jacob Iles said that the Mavericks were ready for the rivalry game, knowing that a conference win would start the year off in the right direction.

"There was that next level intensity that you can't mess around with a district opponent," he said. "Coach Flemming had them ready to play too, and we came out sharp."

The game started out fast for the Mavericks, who secured about a 10 point lead in the first quarter over the Raiders.

The second quarter proved to be an obstacle for the Manchester boys, whose endurace slowed down, and allowed Benton to catch up and tie the game 23-23.  It seemed as though Benton would take control of the ball game, until one Manchester player scored a 3 point shot just before the halftime buzzer, giving the Mavericks a lead again of 26-23.

During halftime, Iles made a quick speech to the Mavericks about living up to their potential as players, and soon they were ready to get back on the court and play a more heated game of basketball.

The third quarter proved to be a game changer for the Mavericks who were able to contain the Raiders while widening the gap on the board.

Despite valiant efforts, the Benton boys were not able to make another comeback and soon fell to 55-44 to Manchester at the final buzzer.

"I was glad it was over," Iles said. "Because of the rivalry the Benton game is always one that you have to be prepared for and be ready to play."

"It was anybody's ballgame," Benton's Coach Steve Flemming said. "We did alright and they played hard.  I was proud of the effort.  We just couldn't get over the hump and score a couple of buckets where we really needed it."

Standing out on offense in this game was Parks Poe who scored 31 points out of 50 for the Mavericks.  Also scoring for Manchester were Jon Riley Poe and Upton Hitt with 7 points each, Dylan Dendy with 6 points, and Tyler Bardwell and Luke Ragland with 2 points each. Tyler Bardwell also made an impact on defense with 11 rebounds.

Standing out offense for Benton were Kyle Kuhn with 17 points, and Dylan Moore with 11.

Going forward Manchester will travel to Tri County Academy on Saturday.  Those scores were not available by press time.