SALEM - Lisbon led for most of their Division III sectional semifinal against Manchester. They just didn't lead when it mattered most.
Despite jumping out to a 15-5 lead and controlling second-seeded Akron Manchester for more than three quarters, the Blue Devils fell 44-41 in Friday night's game.
Lisbon finishes its season at 10-14.
Lisbon got its early lead from a 10-0 run that included six points from senior Corey Brammer, while freshman Austin Rutecki added four points and five rebounds. The Blue Devils led 15-8 at the end of the first.
However, Lisbon would be outscored in every other quarter, gradually giving away its early lead. Their lead slipped to five points by halftime and to just one point at the end of the third quarter.
Manchester managed a crucial run of its own, outscoring Lisbon 11-2 in a rally that bridged the first and second quarters. Midway through the second quarter, Lisbon led 17-16, though the halftime score swelled to 23-18.
"It showed we were off for 10 days," Manchester coach Gene Schindewolf said. "It wasn't pretty, but we managed to advance."
Much of Manchester's offensive revival focused on junior Austin Klein. The Panthers managed to tie Lisbon midway through the third quarter on a Klein field goal. That tie was short-lived, as Lisbon freshman Josh Liberati scored four points to help give the lead back to the Blue Devils. However, Klein nailed consecutive field goals in the fourth quarter to spark a 6-0 Manchester run that gave them a late 41-36 lead.
"We were missing a lot of layups early," Klein said. "We just had to keep putting them back up. We managed to tighten our defense as the game went on."
"If we don't get those inside plays, we're in trouble," Coach Schindewolf said of Klein. "We couldn't afford him to take him off the floor tonight."
Lisbon put up one last stand late in the game, as freshman Josh Craig nailed a three-pointer to make the score 41-39. After a technical foul on Manchester senior Jamar Dukes, Craig made one of two free throws to shrink the deficit to one point.
However, Manchester senior Bryan Daily would close out Lisbon with a pair of free throws that spread the lead back to three points the game's final seconds.
"They picked up the pressure as the game went on," Lisbon coach Chris Huckshold said. "They played with a lot of effort tonight."
Klein would finish with 15 points and eight rebounds for the Panthers. Dukes had a double-double, contributing 12 points and 13 rebounds.
For Lisbon, Craig added 13 points and eight rebounds. Brammer had seven points and five steals.
Manchester (13-7) will play Canton Central Catholic (6-17) in the Division III sectional semifinal at 7:30 P.M. on Tuesday at Salem High School.
Lisbon's only senior is Corey Brammer.
"I can't be more proud of the team," Huckshold said. "We were undersized tonight and got in a bit of foul trouble. They did a phenomenal job."
Manchester defeated Canton Central Catholic 63-53 on Feb. 19, the final game of the regular season.
"That was at home," Schindewolf said. "This time it'll be on a neutral court, so we'll see."
"They're a good shooting team," Klein said. "They're real quick and can drive the ball well."
LISBON: 15- 8- 9- 941
LISBON SCORING: Matthew Spencer 1-2-3, Josh Liberati 1-4-6, Austin Rutecki 3-1-7, Josh Craig 5-2-13, Avery Andric 2-0-5, Corey Brammer 2-3-7 TOTALS: 14, 11-19: 41
MANCHESTER SCORING: Jamar Dukes 4-4-12, Aaron Hoxworth 0-0-0, Chad Robertson 1-0-2, Bryan Daily 1-2-4, Nick Jordan 0-0-0, Nick Peyakov 1-7-9, Austin Klein 7-1-15, Daulton Baksa 0-0-0, Kanyon Collins 0-0-0 TOTALS: 15, 14-22: 44