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Manning steals spotlight in Knights' OT win over Leopards

January 20, 2001

Manning steals spotlight in Knights' OT win over Leopards



By DAN SPEARS / Staff Writer


SMITHSBURG - The obvious plotlines for Friday night's Smithsburg-Middletown boys basketball game would have left the Knights' D.J. Costello or the Leopards' Danny Young in the hero role.

Then Middletown guard Jeff Manning went and got rewrite for the script.

Held without a shot in regulation, Manning made two 3-pointers and hit four key free throws in extra time as the Knights won 75-70 in double overtime - yanking the spotlight away from Young's return from a seizure and Costello's eclipse of the 1,000-point mark.

"I wasn't having my best game during regulation," Manning said with a grin. "But in overtime, there's new life."

He essentially brought Middletown (6-6, 5-4 Monocacy Valley Athletic League) back from the dead in the first overtime. The Knights were down 61-55 with 50 seconds left, but Manning hit a 3 while being fouled and converted the rare four-point play. Willie Brandenburg then stole the inbounds pass and put it in to tie the game at 61-61 with 37 seconds to go.

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"That killed us," Smithsburg coach Eric Gerber said. "But we were still in great shape with the ball in a tie game. In that case, you've just got to try to keep the kids up, because you gave up six points in one possession."

The Leopards (5-7, 3-5) held together long enough to get into a second overtime, and then Manning buried them. His team down 66-64, he was fouled attempting another 3 midway through the overtime and made all three free throws. Smithsburg tied it with one freebie on the other end, but Manning responded with another 3 for the final lead of the game.

Manning's line for the night? A perfect 2-2 4-4 10.

"I've been on Jeff all year to shoot the ball more," Middletown coach Jon Jarrett said. "He's got a great shot from 3, and he hit some huge shots in overtime."

Oh, as if this game needed another subplot, it was Middletown's first road win of the season. But back to those marquee names:

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Young's return to the court was nothing short of spectacular. The 6-foot-9 center scored 30 points on 10-for-15 shooting, grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked seven shots in his first game since suffering a seizure and concussion against Williamsport on Jan. 2.

"We struggle without him, and you see tonight maybe why," Gerber said. "We rely on him a lot. He's scoring with the ball and getting nice position ... with him we're an OK basketball team. He did a tremendous job tonight."

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* "> Meanwhile, Costello passed the 1,000-point mark by finishing with 25 points and 16 rebounds after a slow start.

He missed a questionable shot at the end of regulation with his team nursing the lead and missed a free throw that would have won the game at the end of the first overtime, but Costello made all four of his attempts in the second overtime to seal the victory.

"Things came together for us tonight," Costello said. "Yeah, I took one bad shot, but ... this just feels great.

"At the end, everybody was talking out there and stuff, but I just went off to myself and said to make (the free throws), and I made them."

Middletown 75, Smithsburg 70



MIDDLETOWN (75)

J. Keimig 11, Manning 10, Gordon 13, O'Leary 5, Brandenburg 6, Brown 5, Costello 25. Totals 26-67 19-29 75.

SMITHSBURG (70)

Anderson 17, Brown 5, Bey 12, Swope 2, Young 30, Myers 2, Talbert 2. Totals 23-51 19-30 70.

Middletown9141416913-75

Smithsburg129161698-70

Three-point goals-Middletown 4 (J. Keimig, Manning 2, Costello), Smithsburg 5 (Anderson 2, Brown, Bey 2). Fouled Out-J. Keimig, Brown, Young. JV-Middletown, 47-42 (M: Brad Kehoe, 18).

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