Chips hold on to beat Kingsley

Manistee’s Anselmo Sarabia glides in for a layup in the Chippewas’ 49-45 win over Kingsley Monday. (Kyle Kotecki/News Advocate)

Manistee’s Anselmo Sarabia glides in for a layup in the Chippewas’ 49-45 win over Kingsley Monday. (Kyle Kotecki/News Advocate)

MANISTEE — Manistee boys basketball recorded its first win of the season, holding off Kingsley at home to win 49-45 Monday.

“It’s nice to get the first W of the season,” said Manistee head coach Dan Gustad. “The kids played hard. They did a lot of good things. There are a lot of things we have to work on, but it’s good to see them smile and have fun at the end of the game.”

The Stags (0-4) trailed by two but had the ball with 10.8 seconds left in the game. Manistee’s (1-2) Austin Guenther picked off a Kingsley pass and was able to secure the win with a layup on the other end of the court.

Manistee’s biggest lead in the game was five and in the end Chippewas’ defense did just enough to win the game.

“I think our defensive effort was spotty — let’s put it that way,” Gustad said. “We played well when we really needed to, but we were kind of not 100 percent mentally focused on the defensive end the whole entire game. That’s something we can work on.”

The Stags took a 38-36 lead with 4:49 left in the game before Matthew Kneidl scored back-to-back layups and Anselmo Sarabia hit a 3-pointer from the corner to put Manistee up 43-38. Kingsley got as close as 46-45 but Manistee held on to win.

“We have to be more composed at the end of quarters, at the end of the games and those kind of things,” Gustad said.” We need to take care of the basketball, get to the foul line, knock our shots down and instead of having Coach have a heart attack on the sidelines, we’ll win by eight or 10.”

Kingsley held a 13-9 advantage after one quarter, but a nine-point second quarter by Kneidl allowed Manistee to start the second half with a 23-20 lead.

“We kind of looked at (Kingsley’s) size and we knew we should be able to use (Kneidl’s) size, strength and jumping ability,” Gustad said. “He came through for us in a big way (Monday). He did a lot of good things in the paint. We were looking for him and he finished well at the rim.”

Kneidl paced the Chippewas with 20 points, nine rebounds, four steals and three blocks. Sarabia added five points, seven rebounds and eight assists while Guenther added 11 points and five steals.

“(The key was) playing as a unit and not being selfish,” Sarabia said. “We played together.”

The Stags took the lead early in the third quarter before a Guenther score, two layups off of offensive rebounds by Kneidl and a 15-foot jump shot by Andrew Jackowiak sent the teams into the final frame with Manistee up 32-29.

“(We need to improve) our defensive intensity,” Sarabia said. “We kind of got lax. We have to know how to play all 32 minutes.”

The Chippewas next see action when they make the short trip to Onekama to take on the Portagers Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

Kingsley’s junior varsity team won 72-50 despite 16 points from Manistee’s Drew Schlaff.

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