If Manchester is going to be a key player in this year's PAC-7 race, winning home games is a must in the highly competitive league.
If Manchester is going to be a key player in this year's high school basketball PAC-7 race, winning home games is a must in the highly competitive league.
The Panthers, who are coming off a somewhat disappointing 8-13 season, may have taken the task to hand as they opened their conference slate with a come-from-behind 51-50 overtime victory over Canton Timken on Dec. 7.
The upset ended the Trojans’ 68-game winning streak in the PAC-7 dating back to 2007-08. Timken has been dominant in the league, capturing five consecutive titles.
“Number one, this gives us the first league win on the first league night,” said head coach Gene Schindewolf. “That is important. You gotta win at home in our league. Our league’s tough. It’s going to be a fight every night.
“That’s a tremendous streak Coach (Rick) Hairston and his troops had over the years, and I have the utmost respect for him and his program.”
Manchester (2-1, 1-0) trailed a majority of the contest and still trailed by four (46-42) with 2:34 left in regulation before mounting their comeback.
Senior Nick Peyakov’s field goal and two free throws by Jamar Dukes with 2:16 left sent the game into overtime.
The Panthers found themselves behind the eight ball again in overtime as Timken forged ahead twice, but a Peyakov field goal with 1:22 left tied the contest at 50-50, and senior Bryan Daily’s free throw with :22 showing proved to be the winning margin.
“Our kids showed a lot of character tonight,” Schindewolf said. “There were a lot of times when we were down four, down six late in the game when they were holding. I think we could have been buried.
“It was a little bit sloppy out there. It’s two pretty good teams battling, and when that happens, the pressure mounts. Obviously, the pressure’s on them, because of the fact they’ve won so many. In that situation coming through, it’s a great win.”
Dukes put together an outstanding effort for Manchester, scoring a game-high 22 points on eight of 14 from the field and six of 11 from the line. He also had a team-high nine rebounds and three assists.
Manchester connected on 18 of 47 field goal attempts (38 percent) and 12 of 22 free throws (54 percent).
Manchester girls improve to 4-2
The Lady Panthers improved their season mark to 4-2 as they registered a pair of victories in recent action.
Manchester opened up its conference schedule with an impressive 62-39 win over Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy on Dec. 5.
“We came out slow against them (CVCA), but really turned it on in the third quarter and started putting things together,” said head coach Tucker Pappas. “We picked up the defensive pressure and got some quick points. It was a good team effort with good team defense.”
Page 2 of 2 - Manchester was also on the winning end of a 53-44 decision over Tuslaw on Dec. 8.
“We were sleep walking for four quarters,” Pappas said. “We won by the outstanding play by Kayci (Krzynowek) and Alex (Klein). With only three kids scoring, we really relied on those two to keep the game at hand. We struggled on both ends of the floor but found a way to get it done.”