Third-quarter surge lifts Kimball over Manor

GARLAND, Texas -- Strong play in the third quarter has carried Dallas Kimball to the playoffs this year.

Against Manor on Friday, it saved the Knights' season.

After a lackluster first half, Kimball outscored Manor 27-12 in the third frame en route to an 85-76 win at the Garland Special Events Center.

Kimball (30-5) advances to face the winner between South Oak Cliff and West Mesquite in the Class 4A Region II finals.

"If you're a coach watching us, the third quarter we've been scary all year," Kimball head coach Royce Johnson said.

Manor uses a full-court press on defense and likes to push the tempo offensively. With a short bench, Johnson felt like he could use Kimball's depth to wear down Manor.

That didn't happen in the first half. Manor lead by as much as seven behind the play of Tyler Johnson (21 points) and Jacorey McQueen (14) and went into the break with a 43-39 lead despite a late surge by Kimball.

"That little surge carried us into the locker room because the guys knew we normally play well in the third quarter," Johnson said. "That momentum took us in to where we weren't arguing or down. It helped us."

But a different Kimball team took the court in the third quarter. Keith Frazier (19 points) and Shannon Lilly (21) opened the second half with back-to-back 3-pointers and Kimball took the lead not two minutes into the frame. An 11-2 run capped by a Lilly trey put the Knights up 62-51 with 1:41 left in the third.

"We knew they were fast and quick," Johnson said. "They like playing up-tempo. That's their style of play. We just hoped they'd get a little fatigued."

Manor (21-11) made a late push but fell short. After trailing by as many as 14, Manor cut Kimball's lead to three with an Avery Mack 3-pointer with less than two minutes remaining, but David Tucker knocked down all six of his free throw attempts in the closing seconds to seal the win for Kimball.