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Squires hold off Kings, advance to final

Staff reports

The Manchester basketball team withstood a scare from Lewis Cass in Saturday night’s sectional semi-final to earn a spot in the championship game with a 45-39 win.

Cass, who entered with one win on the season, hung with the Squires much of the night, trailing just 25-22 at the half. After playing even in the third quarter, Cass stayed within a possession for much of the fourth before the Squires pulled away late for the win.

“…I am proud of the grit they showed to not have our best shooting performance and to grind out a tough win,” Manchester head coach Jacob Everett said in an e-mail to the Plain Dealer. “The girls did what they had to do to give themselves an opportunity to play for a sectional championship. I couldn’t be more proud of our grit and we will look to bring that grit and bounce back against Oak Hill.”

Kennedy Fierstos poured in a team-high 20 points while Kiera Hatfield followed with 11 points and six rebounds. Eva Bazzoni had six points and 10 rebounds while JIrni Cripe had four points, seven rebounds and four assists in the win.

Manchester (17-7) met Class 2A No. 3 Oak Hill in the final on Monday. Results from the contest were unavailable as of Plain Dealer deadline. 

Southwood upsets top-ranked Northwestern

The Southwood boys’ basketball team pulled off a memorable upset of Class 3A No. 1 Northwestern on Saturday, earning a 58-57 win.

The Knights led comfortably in the first half, opening up a 35-25 lead by halftime. The Tigers, though, clawed back into the game by winning the third period 16-9 before eventually taking a lead late in the fourth quarter.

Dallas Holmes’ putback with 8.7 seconds left, though, gave Southwood a 58-57 lead that held until the final buzzer.

Holmes finished with 14 points while Carson Rich led the team with 20 points, 18 of those coming in the first half. Jackson Simons added 10 and Gabe Lloyd eight. Holmes also grabbed 16 rebounds on the day while swatting three shots.

Southwood (6-9) has now won three-straight contests and will return to Three Rivers Conference play on Tuesday when they travel to Rochester. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:45 p.m. 

Briner advances to state in two events

Manchester sophomore Halle Briner will head back to the state swim meet after winning the sectional title in both the 200-yard freestyle and 100-yard butterfly at the Warsaw sectional on Saturday.

Cora Barnett added a pair of top-eight finishes as did the 200-yard medley relay team as the Squires placed seventh on the day with 126 points. Warsaw placed first with 416 points, Culver Academies was second with 406 and Columbia City was third with 254 points.

Briner won the 200-yard freestyle by nearly eight seconds on the day while taking first in the 100-yard butterfly by 1.2 seconds.

Barnett followed Briner with a sixth-place finish in the 100-yard butterfly to go along with a fourth-place finish in the 100-yard breaststroke. The team of Barnett, Briner, Halie Wampler and Lillian Myers took eighth in the 200-yard medley relay.

The same quartet took ninth in the 200-yard freestyle relay while the quartet of Jennifer Robles, Morgyn Jimenez, Emma Burlingame and Lydia Greer finished ninth in the 400-yard freestyle relay.

For Wabash, Leigha Boggs placed eighth in diving while Becca Bruss was ninth in the 100-yard backstroke and 16th in the 200-yard individual medley.

The team of Bruss, Mallory Hipskind, Olivia Lindsay and Chasity Honeycutt placed eighth in the 200-yard freestyle relay and seventh in the 400-yard freestyle relay. Grace Schoening, Evelynn Gray, Lucia Olalla and Boggs took 12th in the 200-yard medley relay.