AUSTIN — The Ellison Eagles got back to the court for the first time in a week due to the mandatory University Interscholastic League holiday break.
But the Eagles found themselves in a spot they hadn’t faced in awhile, the wrong end of the scoreboard.
Despite 14 points from junior shooting guard Antonio Martin and some contributions off the bench, the Ellison Eagles lost to Manor 63-56 in their nightcap at the Akins Eagles Boys Holiday Classic on Friday.
“Everybody has five days off,” Ellison coach Alberto Jones said. “They got the same five days off that we got off. I don’t know what it was, but we’ve got to do a better job competing.”
The loss is Ellison’s second this year to Manor. Manor downed Ellison 70-58 in Manor earlier this month.
The Eagles opened the day with a 64-61 loss to the San Marcos Rattlers.
Ronnie Edwards also had a strong game with 10 points and the Ellison bench combined for 33 points, led by Martin’s 14 and Marcus Jackson’s six.
“We’re a deep team,” Jones said. “We’ve got some guys that can do it if the starters aren’t doing it and I’m not afraid at all to go to my bench.”
Manor got balanced scoring. Five different Mustangs got to double figures led by guard Darryl Lemear and forward LaMarcus Burnette who each scored 13 points.
Manor’s athletic guards and big bodies in the middle allowed them to take an early lead and not look back.
Jackson got things going with a 3-pointer that accounted for Ellison’s first points of the game that gave the Eagles their first and only lead of the game at 3-2 in the opening two minutes.
After freshman post Isiah Jasey’s bucket in the paint tied the game at five points apiece, Manor went on a 17-7 run in the next six minutes to take control.
“I don’t know if all of us were on the same page today,” Edwards said.
The Eagles went into the locker room at halftime facing a 32-26 deficit and Edwards’ putback of his own shot got Ellison back to within striking distance at 40-38, but Manor countered with a 6-1 run to end the third quarter.
“We fought in spurts, we should have played hard the whole game,” Jackson said. “We should have just played better.”
Manor led by as many as 12 points in the fourth quarter as Ellison went on a field-goal drought that lasted almost 7:54 in the second half.
“Basketball is always a game of spurts,” Edwards said. “If we stay focused, keep on pushing and don’t let up with everybody pushing at the same time, we’ll get a few leads.”
A Knigel Key putback cut Manor’s lead to 53-43 with 3:32 remaining and Martin did his best Reggie Miller impression scoring eight points on three buckets in a one-minute span, but the hole proved to be too big for Ellison to overcome.
Fred Jackson led all Eagles scorers with 12 points against San Marcos while Edwards added 10 in that game.
Ellison continues tournament play today with a noon game against Austin Travis followed by a 3:30 p.m. matchup against host Austin Akins.