The Manchester and Southwood boys basketball teams were the last two county teams standing heading into Friday’s sectional semi final games at Oak Hill and they were playing each other. The two teams split during the regular season so the rubber match would decide who played for the sectional championship.
Leading by 7 after three quarters the Squires would use a 14-0 run in the fourth quarter to pull away from the Knights for a 72-50 win.
Manchester got off to a quick 6-2 start on three Chase Fierstos buckets before a Carson Blair bucket made it 6-4. Braydon Sewell would then hit followed by a Koehl Fluke three to open an 11-4 lead for the Squires when Robbie Cole drained a three to cut the Manchester lead to four. David McAtee then answered with a three point play as the Squires built the lead back to 8 after a Fierstos free throw. Southwood would close the gap to 15-14 when a foul and a technical was called on the Squires. Carson Blair and Alex Harmon did the Knight scoring to close the gap. Koehl Fluke and Mathew Nose would trade three’s before Manchester got buckets from Chainey Zolman and Braydon Sewell to lead 22-17 after one.
Manchester would extend the lead back to 8 on a bucket from Zolman to start the second quarter before the Knights scored 5 of the next 7 points to make it 27-22. Manchester would answer the Southwood rally with an 8-0 run that started with a McAtee bucket and ended with a layup from Sewell to make it 35-22. The Knights then got a bucket from Alex Harmon and a three point play from Carson Blair to make it 35-27, but once again the Squires answered getting buckets from Fluke and Cameron Brandenburg before the horn to lead 39-27 at the half.
Koehl Fluke would get the first bucket of the third quarter and the Squires led 43-28 after a Zolman bucket when the Knights found some momentum. Alex Harmon would hit a bucket that started a 10-0 run. Robbie Cole, Noah Kirk and Carson Blair all had points during the run as the Knights closed the gap to 43-38. Brandin Frazier would sandwich a bucket between David McAtee and Fluke as Manchester led 47-40 with a quarter to go.
Keelan Norwood made it 49-40 to start the fourth quarter when the Knights would cut into the lead again. Brandin Frazier hit followed by a free throw each from Harmon and Cole to make it 49-44. Koehl Fluke would answer with a bucket followed by a Chainey Zolman three to get the lead back to 54-44 and led 54-46 when the floodgates opened for the Squires. Koehl Fluke would hit four straight free throws that ignited a 14-0 run by Manchester that put the game away with 1:16 on the clock, leading 68-46 before going on to the 72-50 final.
Leading Manchester was Koehl Fluke with 19 points. Chainey Zolman added 12, David McAtee 11, Keelan Norwood 8, Chase Fiestos 7, Braydon Sewell 6, Cameron Brandenburg 5, Levi Hicks 2, Branden Scott 2.
For Southwood Carson Blair led with 14 points. Alex Harmon added 9, Noah Kirk 7, Robbie Cole 7, Brandin Frazier 6, Peyton Trexler 4, Mathew Nose 3.
Manchester will meet Oak Hill in the championship Saturday at 7:30. The Golden Eagles defeated Lewis Cass 61-55.