TECUMSEH — Last year, the Manhattan High boys’ basketball team found itself the victim of several last-second shots.
The Indians were victimized by another late-game shot on Friday at Shawnee Heights, but this time it only forced overtime, and MHS fixed its flaws in the extra period to hold on for a 47-45 win over the Thunderbirds in just the second road game of the season.
Manhattan entered the fourth quarter with a seven-point lead, and led by as much as eight on two different occasions before Shawnee Heights made a run back into the game. The only thing helping the Indians keep their lead early in the fourth was a 5-for-6 performance at the free throw line from John Perbeck.
MHS coach Tim Brooks said Perbeck was big in the early minutes of the fourth.
“John stepped up,” he said. “He missed a few early, but he really got us there and he was calm and he believed in himself.”
With the Indians leading 39-32 with 1:01 to play, Shawnee Heights got a pair of buckets and a free throw from Tevin Downing and added a 3-pointer from Braeson Sester — both sophomores — with four seconds to play, while MHS went 1-for-6 at the line in the final minute to tie the game at 40.
The teams traded blows in the overtime period until Sester missed a free throw to match four points from Brandon Payne that put the Indians ahead 44-43. Payne, Perbeck and Keaton Barragar each made a free throw and Sester made just two more at the line as the Indians gained the two-point edge.
Brooks was happy with the way his team played in a close game for the first team this season, especially with the play of Payne in overtime.
“We haven’t been in a close game — we won in two blowouts and we lost in two blowouts — and we talked about how we’re going to perform in a game that is close and going down to crunch time,” he said. “Although we faltered there a little bit toward the end of the fourth quarter, I thought in overtime we did just enough and Brandon got us going.”
The Indians led a tight game, 9-7, after the first quarter, and pushed it out to 20-11 by halftime with a 7-2 run to open the period.
Brooks said it was defense that helped key those runs.
“I thought we came out and played really well defensively and I thought because we were, we could get out and make some easy buckets,” he said.
Shawnee Heights outscored Manhattan 10-8 in the third quarter to cut the lead to seven.
Payne was the only Indians’ player in double-figures at 10, while Deante Burton had nine and Barragar and Perbeck each scored eight points. Sester scored 19 and Downing finished at 15 points for the T-Birds.
Brooks said he came away from the game knowing that Shawnee Heights is better than some teams might know.
“They’re much improved, I don’t know if the rest of the league really realizes that, but they are much improved,” he said. “They get after you defensively, and they are going to beat some people.”
The Indians will return home for a pair of games next week with Washburn Rural on Tuesday and Junction City on Friday.
Manhattan 47, Shawnee Heights 45 OT
Manhattan 9 11 8 12 7 — 47
Shawnee Heights 7 4 10 19 5 — 45
MANHATTAN (47) — Payne 10, Burton 9, Barragar 8, Perbeck 8, Taylor 7, Holloway 3, Stephens 2.
SHAWNEE HEIGHTS (45) — Sester 19, Downing 15, Orton 9, Kennedy 2, McGinnis 2.
3-pointers — Manhattan 3 (Barragar 2, Holloway). Shawnee Heights 3 (Sester 2, Orton).