Mavericks finish third in district, win first game at South State tournament

By CATHRYN CARTWRIGHT,

The Manchester Academy Mavericks won the 3rd place spot in the District Tournament this weekend after defeating Benton Academy 67-51.

The Manchester boys started out the tournament by facing off against Greenville St. Joe on Thursday, Feb. 6.

Despite a hard-fought battle against the Irish, the Mavs fell 67-52.

"In the St. Joe game we did exactly what we wanted for about a quarter and a half," Coach Jacob Iles said. "But at the end of the 2nd quarter they threw a couple of shots and took a 9 point lead by halftime."

Iles said that despite the Mavericks fighting back and using a man-to-man defense, they were unable to close the gap on the scoreboard or get over the hump toward the end of the game.

"The 4th quarter was just an up and down track meet because we were just trying to come back," Iles said. "It was one of those games where it was a loss and we were trying to make a win and we just couldn't do that, they were too good."

Picking up the pieces and ready for a new day, the Mavericks moved on to play the Benton Academy Raiders for the 3rd place spot on Saturday.

Iles said that the teams’ roles were reversed in this game, with Manchester maintaining the upper hand for the majority of the game, and eventually defeated Benton with a score of 67-52.

"We got a lead on Benton early in the game and we stayed above 10 for the entire game," Iles said. "We always try to maintain that double digit lead, so we were able to win that game comfortably."

Standing out in these games on offense were Dylan Dendy, who scored 21 points against St. Joe, and Jon Riley Poe, who scored 28 points against Benton.

Dendy was also named to the All District Tournament Team for his performance on the court.

With the 3rd place spot under their belts, the Mavericks qualified to enter the South State Tournament this week, beginning with a match up against Glenbrook from Louisiana on Monday.

"We have been very tested this season," Iles said. "The guys are ready and in shape, so we just have to go in there and execute in order to move forward."

The Mavericks were successful in the South State tournament, defeating Glenbrook with a score of 50-28.  They will continue to Game 2 against Sylva Bay on Wednesday at 5:15 p.m.