The Manhattan High boys’ basketball team needed overtime to do it, but avenged a January loss to Washburn Rural and earned a trip to the sub-state final against top-seeded Derby with a 45-42 win Wednesday night at MHS.
Manhattan led 43-40 with 8.6 seconds to play, then chose to intentionally foul 6-foot-7 post Reed Rowell on the inbounds play. The senior made both his free throws, but the Indians’ Alex Stitt threw a home run inbounds pass to senior Chris Hudgins on the ensuing play. Hudgins caught the pass and converted a layup under the basket to put the Indians back up by three and use up most of the remaining clock. Rural’s heave at the buzzer from beyond halfcourt fell short to secure the win for MHS.
Hudgins led Manhattan with 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting, while knocking down all six of his free-throw attempts. Jacob Holloway hit two 3s and finished with six points, while the rest of the Indians put forth a balanced scoring effort, with no one else scoring more than four.
Rowell led Rural with 12 points, while Chaise James added 11. Riley Landuyt, who led the Junior Blues in the first matchup, scored just seven points on 2-of-6 shooting.
The Indians travel to Derby on Friday night for a 7 p.m. tip for a berth in the state tournament.