by Gary Andrews
The Wabash and Manchester boys’ basketball teams were meeting for the second time this season Friday night at Coolman gym. Back on Dec. 27, the Apaches knocked off the Squires 63-56 in the Wabash County tourney, so the Squires had revenge on their minds. Manchester did get their revenge, but it took an extra quarter when Apache Jordan Blair hit three free throws with no time remaining to send it to OT, as the Squires survived a 61-58 overtime slug fest.
The game went just as most figured. The largest lead of the night was 7 points by Wabash, which they did in the second and third quarters.
Wabash got off to a 2-0 lead on a Kodi Clemons bucket that was answered with buckets from Clayton Petrie and Claudell Dickantone to give Manchester a 4-2 lead. The two teams would trade leads or be tied six more times when Manchester led 11-9 with a few seconds to go. Jordan Blair would then bang home a shot at the buzzer and the game was where it was when it started, tied.
Grant Sailors would get Wabash the lead to start the second quarter and was followed with a three pointer from Roger Davis to put the Apaches up 16-11. After a Manchester time out, the Apaches would strike again with a Sailors bucket to increase the lead to 18-11. Chase Fierstos would hit to stop the 7 point Wabash run, but was answered by Cody King to make it 20-13. The Squires would cut the lead to three when Clayton Petrie and Chase Fierstos connected, but Roger Davis shut the door with a three as Wabash led 23-17 at the half.
After a Chase Fierstos bucket got the second half going, Grant Sailors would hit, followed by a Roger Davis free throw and the Apaches had their largest lead of the night at 26-19. Clayton Petrie and Claudell Dickantone would hit buckets around a Christian Hall basket as the Apache lead was 29-23. Two Claudell Dickantone free throws with 1:00 left made it 29-26 when Cody King hit again to make it 31-26. Chase Fierstos would hit the final bucket of the quarter, which was a three to draw the Squires to within two at 31-29 when the horn went off.
Claudell Dickantone would quickly tie the game to start the fourth, but was answered by a Christian Hall three to give Wabash a 34-31 lead. The Squires would then get a three from Chase Fierstos to tie the score and then get their first lead since the first quarter on a Claudell Dickantone bucket to make it 36-34 Manchester. Grant Sailors would tie the game for the 9th time with two free throws with 3:45 left.
Two more free throws from Sailors with 1:50 remaining gave Wabash a 38-36 lead, but a back door play to Dickantone knotted the score at 38. Chase Fierstos would give Manchester their second lead of 40-38 with 58.9 on the clock, but a Squire foul put the Apaches on the free throw line. Roger Davis hit one of two with 52.3 left. After a Squire rebound the Apaches first tried high pressure defense to get the ball, but ended up fouling with 16.7 on the clock. Claudell Dickantone would calmly sink both free throws to give Manchester a 42-39 lead and the Apaches needed a three with 13.7 left.
Roger Davis would throw up a three that was no good, but after a scrum on the floor the Apaches got a time out with 1.7 remaining. Wabash set up a play that found Jordan Blair in the corner, but Blair missed the three as time expired, but was fouled. With Blair having three free throws and no time on the clock, Manchester called time out to freeze the shooter. With no time on the clock, no players were aloud to stand around the paint as Blair stood alone. With the crowd going crazy, knowing Blair couldn’t miss one free throw or the game was over, Jordan Blair had ice in his veins draining all three to send the game to overtime.
Manchester got the first lead in overtime on two Chase Fierstos free throws, but the Apaches bounced right back with a three from Davis and an offensive rebound bucket from Davis to lead 47-44. The Squires would then go on a 6-0 run with buckets from Fierstos, Dickantone and Phoenix Goad to lead 50-47 with 12.0 remaining. A Manchester foul with 10.3 left gave Wabash some hope with Hall hitting one to make it 50-48. A Wabash foul would then put Fierstos on the line with 6.5 left, with Fierstos hitting one to make it 51-48 and the Apaches still had life. With heavy full court defense applied by the Squires, Wabash was forced to a half court buzzer beater by Davis that fell short with Manchester escaping 51-48.
Claudell Dickantone and Chase Fierstos led Manchester with 19 points each. Clayton Petrie added 11, Phoenix Goad 2.
Roger Davis led Wabash with 16 points. Grant Sailors added 10, Christian Hall 8, Jordan Blair added 5, Cody King 5, Kodi Clemons 2, Chase Dirig 2.
Manchester won the junior varsity game 46-35.
Leading the Squires was David McAtee with 16 points. Austin Brewer added 11, Keelan Norwood 7, Bailey Ness 7, Levi Hicks 5.
Leading Wabash was Tyler Hough with 14 points. Travis Easthom added 11, Owen Yeadon 4, Jordan Burnsworth 4, Juwan Carter 2.