An up-and-down season for the Manual High School girls’ basketball squad got a big boost Friday night.
Teanna Curry scored 14 of her game-high 19 points in the fourth quarter as the host Lady Crimsons rallied for a 58-54 victory over Eastern.
Manual (11-8), No. 16 in The Courier-Journal’s Litkenhous Ratings, got its first victory over a Top 20 team. Eastern (11-4) is No. 18.
“The past week especially we’ve really kind of taken a step forward and played a little bit better,” first-year Manual coach Jeff Sparks said. “I told them we had a great opportunity with a team like that coming to our place. It was huge for us.”
Eastern earned a doubleheader split, winning the boys’ game 68-64 in overtime.
* Krystaline McCune pitched in 10 points for Manual, which has won three straight Seventh Region titles but had lost five of its previous seven games.Girls:
“We’ve had a lot of adversity going on,” Curry said. “We’re just getting over it and putting all of that out.”
Jade Spaulding scored 17 points and Madison Raque 15 to lead Eastern, which has lost two in a row, including 58-56 to Christian Academy on Jan. 16.
The Eagles held a 13-point lead early in the third quarter but then went scoreless for more than seven minutes.
“Against the better teams, we don’t know how to get over that hump,” coach Josh Leslie said. “We don’t know how to put teams away.”
Markeia Porter’s basket gave the Eagles a 33-20 lead with 6:28 left in the third quarter, but Manual scored 13 straight points and tied it at 33 on Curry’s basket with 7:24 remaining in the fourth.
Sparks said his team got more aggressive on the boards and did a better job of handling Eastern’s pressure defense in the second half.
“And I think we just settled down a little bit,” he said. “I think they were kind of hyped coming out.”
Claire Hart’s three-point play gave Eastern a 41-36 lead with 5:41 left, but Manual answered with a 13-2 run to take control. Aricka Prentice’s basket capped the run and made it 49-43 with 2:32 left, and Curry sank 8 of 10 free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.
“I just felt like I needed to attack more and get the ball in my hands since I’m the point guard,” Curry said.
Leslie said his team took bad shots in the second half.
“We got the lead, and all of a sudden we’re going one pass, chuck. Dribble, dribble, dribble, go,” he said. “We were taking the first available shot instead of the first good shot.”
* Eastern (12-4) hit 7 of 8 free throws in the final 1:10 of overtime to hold off the Crimsons (11-6).Boys:
Bryce Walker-Byrd hit two charity shots with 1:10 left for a 63-62 lead and two more with 46.5 seconds remaining for a 65-62 edge. Austin Howard added two with 22.7 seconds left for a 67-64 edge, and Manual couldn’t convert on its next possession.
Walker-Byrd and Howard scored 14 points each to lead the Eagles.
Dwayne Sutton scored 20 points and Trey Boyd 18 for Manual. Boyd’s basket with 46 seconds left in regulation tied the score at 57. Eastern committed a turnover on its final possession, leading to overtime.
– Spaulding 17, Porter 6, Raque 15, Hart 13, Thompson 1, Sivils 2.Eastern (11-4)
– MacBlaine 8, McCune 10, To. Curry 4, Te. Curry 19, Prentice 7, Schaaf 4, Pasley 3, Ballard 3.Manual (11-8)
– Spaulding 2, Raque 2; MacBlaine, Ballard.3-point goals
– Howard 14, Reed 5, Jones 9, Szczpinsky 2, Williams 4, Moses 9, Cambron 11, Walker-Byrd 14.Eastern (12-4)
– Comstock 2, Freeman 11, Sutton 20, West 6, Horton 4, Chilton 3, Boyd 18.Manual (11-6)
– Jones, Cambron 3; Freeman 3, Chilton.3-point goals