The New Manchester boys and girls’ basketball teams traveled to South Paulding Tuesday for a pair of Region 5-AAAAA games. The Jaguar boys won an overtime thriller in come from behind fashion, 83-82. The girls struggled out of the gate to kick off the second half of the season, falling 61-33.
The New Manchester boys trailed South Paulding after the first quarter, 18-15. They were down by 13 at the half. However, a second half surge led to a 52-51 third quarter score, with the Jags trailing by one. New Manchester continued to fight and tied the game at 73 to send the two teams into overtime.
In the fourth quarter, the game went back-and-forth, with no one able to take a big lead. Most the of the time the lead continued to change from the free throw line. Up by one in the final seconds, New Manchester’s Aaron Reddick managed to pick up a defensive rebound and get the ball to Tyler Edwards as time expired to seal the win.
“We came out slashing but we went flat in the second quarter,” said NMHS boys coach James Bailey. “After halftime we came out and got the rhythm going. We slowed the game down and int eh fourth quarter we had a good balance to tie the game and send it into overtime.”
Edwards led the offense with 24 points. He scored from everywhere. He was able to hit the outside shot and also penetrate the lane. He also got his teammates involved in the scoring.
“He played hard and gave it all he had,” Bailey said. “He also had a solid night defensively.”
Tabashi Thomas played perhaps his best game of the season, scoring 18 points.
“He showed his athleticism and got to the free throw line in overtime,” Bailey said. “He was able to attack the zone and in the second half played very well defensively.”
Clinton Bentley III added 13 points after starting off slowly.
“He picked up his defense and once he did that, his offense was picked up,” Bailey said. “He hit a shot in the fourth quarter that tied the game in regulation.”
Reddick was a beast on the glass with 20-plus rebounds in the game.
“He owned the board offensively and defensively,” Bailey said. “He broke his nose at tip-off, but turned his game up a notch in the second half.”
Overall, Bailey said he was very pleased with the guys, and added that the team is staring to find its identity.
“This is what I want for the guys, to establish themselves,” Bailey said. This is a hard nosed team that never gives up. I am very pleased.”