Wednesday night was round two of the Manchester boys basketball sectional and oh what a night it was. Northfield and Southwood were going to battle for the third time of the season in game one. Ryan Keaffaber hit a volleyball line three pointer at the buzzer to send the game to overtime, with the Norse pulling out a 54-48 win.
In game two Wabash took on who many thought was the sectional favorite in Lewis Cass. The Kings had defeated Wabash February 9th 86-67. The Apaches remembered that night and came out swinging, pulling off the upset 83-77.
As in most games between Northfield and Southwood the game was not over until it was over. In the first quarter the teams would punch and counter punch with the score being tied or a lead change 7 times. Corey Phillipy put the Knights up 2-0 with a layup before Marcus Kroh knotted the score. With neither team burning up the nets the Knights led 8-7 with 2:00 to go and neither team would score again until Ryan Keaffaber was fouled as time expired, hitting both free throws and the Norse led 9-8 after one.
The Norse would get on the board first in the second quarter on a Jon Richardson layup to go up 11-8. Corey Phillipy would then hit twice in a row to give the Knights the lead back at 12-11 and it was game on. The Norse were up 16-12 when Southwood made a move. The Knights would go on an 11-0 run to grab a 23-16 lead with 1:04 to go. The run started with a Shane Smith free throw and ended with a Corey Phillipy free throw. With .27 seconds remaining Carter Frieden knocked down a three pointer for the Norse and the Knights led 23-19 at the half.
The Knights would start off fast in the third quarter, getting buckets from Smith, Phillipy and Jackson Blair to open a 29-19 lead. Ryan Keaffaber would stop the run with a three point play to cut the lead to 29-22 before Smith hit again. Down 31-22 the Norse would score the last 8 points of the quarter to trail by one, 31-30. Collin Dawes, Keaffaber and Tanner Wilcox all scored during the 8-0 run.
The Knights would start the fourth quarter with a bucket from Corey Phillipy, with brother Ross then getting a steal and hitting Nathan Hollars for a layup and Southwood led 35-30 just 30 seconds in to the quarter. The Knights led 35-32 after another Wilcox bucket for the Norse when Smith and Blair hit to lead 39-32. The Knights would continue to hold their lead and were up 44-41 with time running out when Ryan Keaffaber drained a three at the buzzer from long distance to put the game in overtime.
Northfield would take the early lead in the overtime on a three from Collin Dawes and were up 50-46 with 2:22 to go. Corey Phillipy hit two free throws that was answered with one free throw from Keaffaber and the Norse lead was 51-48 at 1:30. The Knights would foul Keaffaber with 1:06 left, with Ryan hitting one shot to make it 52-48. After a missed Southwood attempt Marcus Kroh grabbed the rebound, out letting to Collin Dawes who hit Adam Roser for a layup with .52 remaining, which would be the final points of the night as the Norse pulled off the 54-48 win.
Ryan Keaffaber led the Norse with 24 points. Collin Dawes added 10, Jon Richardson 8, Tanner Wilcox 4, Carter Frieden 3, Marcus Kroh 2, Adam Roser 2, Noah Shear 1.
For Southwood Corey Phillipy led with 19 points. Shane Smith added 16, Jackson Blair 9, Levi Sutton 2, Nathan Hollars 2.
In game two Wabash was looking for revenge and knew being out sized that a fast and furious pace to wear down the taller Kings would be their shot. Wabash controlled the pace, but the Kings kept pace in the first quarter as the two teams raced up and down the floor. Cass jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead before Andrew Adamson drained his first three of the night. The Kings would build their lead to 10-3 and were up 18-9 when the Apaches got back in the game. Wabash’s style gets them points in bunches and that’s what happened the last 1:52 of the quarter, as the Apaches went on a 12-1 run. Tyler King banged home a three that was followed by a Cody King bucket to make it 18-14 at 1:32. Breyton Nealis would then hit two free throws and get another bucket from Cody King to tie the score at 18 with .50 left. After a Cass free throw Jordan Blair hit with .17 left to give Wabash a 20-19 lead. After a Cass miscue, Andrew Adamson raced the full length of the court for a layup at the buzzer and Wabash led 22-19 after one.
The Apaches would get the first bucket of the second quarter by Nealis to lead 24-19. Cass would get to within one point twice the first three minutes before Wabash opened the gap a little. Leading 31-30 with 5:23 remaining the Apaches would go on a run. Wabash would score 9 straight points to increase their lead to 40-31. The run was started with a Grant Sailors layup and ended with a Tyler King bucket. Wabash would then go cold, needing to take time off the clock as Cass scored 10 straight to tie the score at 40 by the half.
Only one point was scored the first two minutes of the third quarter, which was a free throw by Cass to lead 41-40. Tyler Brewer got the Apaches going with a bucket and increased their lead to 46-41 on a Taylor Vigar jumper. Wabash increased their lead to 52-45 with three’s from Adamson and Vigar and held the lead the rest of the quarter with Cass hitting at the buzzer to make it 57-56 Wabash with a quarter to go.
With the February 9th game on everyone’s mind, you wondered when Cass would make a push. The push came at the start of the fourth quarter when the Kings scored the first 6 points to lead 62-57. Wabash did not panic, getting two free throws from Grant Sailors and a bucket from Tyler Brewer to cut the King lead to 62-61. After a Cass bucket, Tyler King nailed a three to knot the score at 64 and it was game on. Tied at 66 with 4:02 to go, Adamson would steal the ball, hit the layup while being fouled and convert the three point play to give Wabash a 69-66 lead. Up and down the floor they went with Cass cutting the Wabash lead to 75-73 with 1:49 on the clock. With 1:03 left, Wabash led 79-77 . The Kings would miss a free throw, get the rebound and miss the bucket, finally fouling Nealis with .21 left. Nealis calmly sank both free throws, then forced a turnover, hitting a layup with .12 left to give Wabash an 83-77 lead which ended up being the final score.
Leading the Apaches was Breyton Nealis with 20 points. Andrew Adamson added 19, Tyler King 12, Tyler Brewer 10, Taylor Vigar 7, Cody King 6, Grant Sailors 4, Kodi Clemons 3, Jordan Blair 2.