The Manawa boys’ basketball team opened the 2013-14 season with a familiar foe as they hosted Marion Thursday, Nov. 21. The two teams fought to the final horn, with the Wolves prevailing 55-51.
The Mustangs led twice during the game. They led early in the first quarter as well as midway through the final quarter. The Wolves enjoyed double digit leads during the second quarter before the Mustangs rallied behind seniors Cole Drefahl and Aaron Hoffman.
Drefhal and Hoffman put Marion Marion on top 3-0 with 5:32 left to play in the first quarter. A 7-0 run by the Wolves sparked by sophomore Brandon Radloff’s five points forced a Marion timeout with the Wolves on top 7-3.
Luke Wilz’s three point shot and David Blum’s basket pushed Manawa’s lead to 11 at 26-15 with just under three minutes left in the first half.
Hoffman triggered a 6-0 run and the Mustangs pulled to within five with less than one minute left in the half. Andrew Mauritz’s three pointer before the horn allowed Manawa to hold a 31-25 lead at halftime.
The Wolves opened the second half in a deep freeze as Drefahl scored four of the Mustangs six points to tie the game at 31 with 4:50 left in the third quarter. Mauritz drained his second three pointer to regain the lead. Hoffman’s two free throws tied the game at 40 heading into the final eight minutes.
Sophomore Shane Manthey opened the final quarter with four points including a nice reverse layup and the Wolves held a 46-40 lead with 5:41 left in the game.
The Mustangs refused to fold. Hoffman and Drefahl put the Mustangs back in front at 49-48 with four minutes to play. Junior Matthew Radloff took over the final two and one half minutes hitting a key basket to regain the lead for good at 50-49, and draining two clinching free throws with 1.5 seconds to play.
Matthew Radloff led the Wolves with 17 points while Blum added 10.
Hoffman finished the game with 20 points and Drefhal added 17 for the Mustangs.
Manawa hosts Kewaunee, Monday Dec 2.