MAN — The Man High School boys’ basketball improved to 5-1 on the season with a thrilling 74-72 victory over the River View Raiders at the Man Memorial Fieldhouse on Friday night.
The Billies placed four players in double digits scoring led by senior standout John Thomas Keffer with a game-high 24 points while senior Jake Adkins had a double-double with 14 points and 12 rebounds.
Kenny Jo Adkins netted 15 and Erik Files added 11. Gabby Brown just missed double figures with eight points.
“It was a well played game by both teams,” Man coach Harvey Arms said. “We shot the ball well and played good defense even though the game was close and we played very smart there at the end. We also had balanced scoring as well.”
The Hillbillies sealed the game late.
Kenny Jo Adkins was fouled with 11 seconds left and hit both free throws to give Man a 74-69 lead.
River View’s Tyree Baker hit a 3-pointer with just seven seconds left but it was too little too late as Man held on for the win.
The Billies jumped out to an early 9-4 lead mid-way in the first stanza on two baskets by Keffer, one free throw by Brown and field goals by Jake Adkins and Kenny Jo Adkins.
Man pushed its lead to 17-10 on an old-fashioned three point play by Keffer. Jake Adkins then drained a 3-pointer to give MHS a 20-10 lead with just 30 seconds left in the opening frame.
Baker hit a jumper with 10 seconds on the clock to make it a 20-12 game after the first eight minutes of play.
The Raiders battled back in the second stanza, cutting the Man deficit in half at 26-21 on at 3-ball by Baker mid-way in the quarter.
Keffer drained two free throws to make it 30-23 at the 3:07 mark.
Baker then hit another NBA-range 3 to make it 30-26 with 2:29 to go. That was followed up by an inside-the-paint basket by his brother Jonah Baker to cut the Billies’ lead to 30-28 with 1:40 on the clock.
The Raiders would go on a 7-0 run to take a 33-30 advantage with 1:10 left on Jonah Baker’s second basket and a 3-pointer by Brian Mitchell with just 50 seconds left in the first half as Raiders would take a 33-32 lead into the locker room by outscoring the Billies 21-12 in the second period of play.
The Billies went on a 5-0 run to open the second half of play on a fast break basket by Kenny Jo Adkins and a 3-pointer by Files to give MHS a 37-33 advantage with 6:09 to go.
Jake Adkins then added a layup at the 3:40 mark to give Man 43-40 lead.
Mitchell then hit a 3-pointer to tie the game up at 43 with 3:10 left in the third quarter.
River View got the lead back at 50-49 with just 40 seconds left on another 3-ball by Tyree Baker.
Keffer then got a steal to give the Billies the lead back at 51-50 with just 12 seonds left but River View’s Jonathan Hatcher hit a runner in the lane with just two ticks on the clock to give RVHS a slim 52-51 lead heading into the final eight minutes of play.
Keffer hit a layup to open the fourth quarter to give MHS a 53-52 lead at the 7:45 mark.
Man then pushed its lead to 63-57 mid-way in the period on two charity tosses by Keffer.
Jake Adkins then hit a key 3-pointer to give the Billies a 66-57 lead with 3:37 left in the game.
River View would not go away and battled back on a runner in the lane by Tyree Baker and then he hit another 3-pointer to cut the Man lead to 66-62 with 3:04 to play.
Tyree Baker hit one of two free throws and Todd Coeburn got a steal and basket to cut the Billies’ lead to a single point at 66-65 with 1:53 left.
Files then hit a jumper in the lane to give Man a 68-65 lead with 1:34 remaining on the clock.
River View’s Jonah Baker nailed a basket and was fouled and could have tied the game up but missed the free throw as Man clinged to a one-point lead at 68-67 with 1:04 to go.
Keffer got behind the River View defense for a easy layup to give Man a 70-67 lead with 47 seconds left.
The Billies then forced a Raiders’ turnover and Brown was fouled and hit both free throws to give MHS a 72-67 lead with just 40 seconds left in the game. Coeburn then hit a layup to make it 72-69 with just 16 ticks left on the clock.
Keffer also had five assists and five steals in the game. Cameron Simpson had two points for Man.
River View also got 10 points from Ronnie Morgan. Jonah Baker and Brian Mitchell had eight each. Coeburn had six, Hatcher four and Chris Jordan two.
River View fell to 4-2 with the loss.
Man was 26-for-57 shooting for 45 percent, including 4-of-11 from 3-point range and 18-for-24 from the foul line for 75 percent. The Raiders were 30-for-64 from the floor, 7-for-18 from the 3-point arc and 5-for-9 from the free throw line.
The Billies host Westside on Wednesday, then play at Chapmanville this Friday.