It was a clash of the Tigers which ended the basketball season for the Mansfield Jr High boys. The Red Tigers fell to Charleston 36-23 in their 3A-1 District Championship game. The match was cleanly played and full of pure defensive basketball.
Charleston jumped to an early 15-7 lead on Mansfield in the first quarter but the Red Tigers stayed poised under pressure. Mansfield’s defense tightened their grip only allowing Charleston to gain 4 points in the second quarter. By halftime, the score was 19-13 and could have been anyone’s game. The back and forth tag match continued throughout the third quarter with the Red Tigers keeping it close 24-19. Charleston overcame the Red Tigers in the fourth quarter with free throws and turnovers to win the Jr District Championship 36-23.
The Mansfield Jr Tigers closed out their season with a second place victory overall. Tiger fans saw many great things from the Jr boys this season but two things stuck out more than anything else. Growth as a team and hardcore effort. The Jr Tigers finished with a 7-7 conference record with most of those losses being close thrillers. The Tigers will be losing key players by moving up 4 of their 5 starters into Sr High basketball next season. Most fans would see that as a rough upcoming year but there’s a catch. The Jr Tigers have a depth of top-notch talent. They are hungry and eager to own their competition on the hardwoods next season coupled with great coaches to lead the way.
Head Coach, Kent Elmore, said this about his team. “I am very proud of my boys this season. We lost a starter early in the season and my bench stepped up and played well. The guys came in and worked hard every single day. Their work ethic and love of the game was truly special. They played each game so hard and I can’t ask for more than that.”
“I will have a lot of new bodies seeing the floor next season and we will have a lot of learning to do. I look forward to it just like I do every year. Once again I can’t say how proud I am of my 9th graders. It was a pleasure coaching them. Thank you to all the fans and volunteers that have helped us throughout the season. Without them, we wouldn’t have made it this far. Go Tigers!”