It was do or die for the Lady Squires Saturday night. Manchester was sitting in second place in the TRC with a 4-2 record, one game behind leader Tippecanoe Valley. Manchester was hosting Valley with all the marbles on the table.
With an intense defense led by Meika Kennedy, the Squires held conference scoring leader Staci Groom to 4 points and come from behind to defeat the Vikings 45-43.
The two teams are very similar, as they both play multiple players and use a balanced scoring attack while playing hard nose defense. That would hold true again as Valley out scored Manchester in the first quarter 18-13 with each team having five players score. Kaylee Watson led the Squires with 5 points, hitting one three pointer.
Groom would hit what would be her only bucket of the game in the second quarter as the continuous Squire pressure defense frustrated her. Valley would win the quarter 10-9 to lead 28-22 at the half and the Squires had the Vikings right where they wanted them.
The Manchester defense would come out of the locker room even more inspired, holding Valley to just two buckets and five points. Kayla Flack would lead the way with 4 points and Meika Kennedy connected on a three pointer as the Squires out scores the Vikings 10-5 and cut the lead to 33-32 with a quarter to go.
In a game that didn’t have a lot of buckets, free throws could become critical in the fourth. The two teams had a combined five buckets in the fourth, with Manchester only having two. Struggling from the field, the Lady Squires hit 8 of 9 free throws and Bekah Brunn hit a giant three pointer as the Squires pulled out a 45-43 win.
The Manchester win gave the Squires a share of the TRC title with Wabash, Tippecanoe Valley and Rochester, all with 5-2 records.
Leading Manchester was Kayla Flack with 11 points, 1 assist, 9 rebounds and 2 steals. Meika Kennedy had 8 points, 1 assist, 2 rebounds and 1 steal. Kaylee Watson had 7 points and 1 steal. Malyssa Bedke had 5 points and 3 rebounds. Bekah Brunn had 5 points, 1 assist and 2 rebounds. Lindsey Budnik had 5 points and 2 rebounds. Hannah Schmidt had 2 points and 1 rebound. Hannah Little had 2 points, 2 assist, 8 rebounds and 3 steals.
The Manchester junior varsity lost to Valley 47-11.
Tabby DeWitt had 5 points, 6 rebounds and 1 block. Celina Carter had 3 points, 4 rebounds and 1 steal.