PDT Sports Contributor
When a team comes out and executes its game plan, it can put the opposing team in a hole that they usually cannot get out of.
This was the case Wednesday evening as the East Tartans were eliminated from the postseason at the hands of the Manchester Greyhounds by a 65-36 tally in a Division IV Girls Southeast Sectional Semifinal matchup at Northwest High School.
While the even-numbered quarters were solid for the Tartans, the odd-numbered ones were what did East in.
From the opening tip, it was clear that Manchester meant business as the Greyhounds immediately ripped off a 17-2 run that would last through the duration of the first quarter behind Rainelle Casey, who scored eight of her 10 points in the first quarter.
East would cut the lead down to 10 just past the four minute mark of the second quarter after a Lorre Russell three-pointer but Manchester responded with a 10-1 run to give the Greyhounds a 36-17 lead heading into the locker room.
Manchester continued its tear in the third quarter behind Morgan Johnson’s six third-quarter points and would end up outscoring the Tartans by a combined score of 34-10 in the first and third frames of the contest en route to the victory.
However, Lance Davis was satisfied with his team’s play despite the loss and said that the Tartans handled the game very well even with the inexperience present on the roster. One of those young players that Davis was impressed with was Shay Brown.
“Shay Brown played a good ballgame for us,” Davis said. “She made some great passes tonight and really makes the team go. She’s only a freshman and will be one of the underclassmen that we have coming back next year.”
Davis was also happy with the play of his upperclassmen, especially with Brooklyn Meadows’ play as well as Russell’s.
Meadows tallied a team-high 11 points for East and fittingly scored the Tartans’ 36th and final point on the evening on a free throw with under 20 seconds left to go in the contest, while Russell hit two threes on the night to finish with eight points.
“Brooklyn Meadows did a great job in the low post tonight and really worked hard on the glass,” Davis said. “I think she ended up with 11 (points). She’s a senior who has dealt with a lot of adversity (over the season) and has really worked hard for us and it shows. Lorre Russell did a great job coming off of the bench and knocked down some outside shots for us and hit a couple of threes for us tonight.”
Despite their youth, East was able to convert at a fairly frequent rate from the free throw line. Overall, the Tartans were 6-of-10 from the charity stripe (60%), while the Greyhounds made 10 out of a possible 21 free throw attempts from the line (48%).
Davis said that he was impressed with East’s performance at the line and said that when the Tartans were aggressive, they would get there.
“When we were aggressive (in driving the basketball), we were getting fouls called and we did a great job of converting on those opportunities at the line,” Davis said. “When we got the ball inside, we were creating more opportunities for ourselves there.”
Manchester’s length, however, caused problems for East in the turnover and rebounding departments. The Greyhounds turned the ball over 17 times in comparison to the Tartans’ 29, and Manchester ate up the glass by turning in a 51-24 edge on the boards.
Davis says that this has been the story all season for a team that features 10 underclassmen on its roster.
“We were super young all season long,” Davis said. “We’ve only played two seniors due to a third tearing her ACL. It’s just the way the season has gone for us. But there’s nowhere else to go but up, and that’s a good thing.”
With the win, Manchester will play #3 seeded North Adams in a sectional final matchup, which will be held on Saturday at 2:45 at Northwest. The winner of that contest will play the winner of the South Gallia – South Webster matchup (which is being held at Meigs) on February 20th in Jackson.
East 2 15 8 11 – 36
Manchester 17 21 17 10 – 65
East – Russell 2-2-8, Carver 2-0-4, Meadows 5-1-11, Lockhart 1-0-3, Dingess 1-2-5, Brown 2-1-5, Totals 13-6-36.
Manchester – Burns 3-5-13, Adams 0-1-1, Johnson 6-0-12, Boyd 2-0-4, Wilburn 1-0-2, Rideout 5-2-12, Casey 5-0-10, Hamilton 0-1-1, Sweeney 1-0-3, Stamm 1-1-3, Lucas 2-0-4, Totals 26-10-65.
3-Point Goals – East 4 (Russell 2, Lockhart, Dingess); Manchester 3 (Burns 2, Sweeney).
Records – East 0-22, Manchester 12-9.