AVON LAKE — Midview junior Jonny Manning is best known for his work around the rim, Sunday he showed he could shoot from the outside too.
Manning scored a game-high 32 points to lead the Gray team to a 107-86 win over the Black team in the Rising Stars Game at the Gene Legeza All-Star Classic at Avon Lake High School.
Manning did his share of work in the paint, including a dunk with 1:50 remaining which put his team over the century mark. But he also showed he could hang with the top shooters in a game that featured the best underclassman from across Lorain County by connecting on four 3-pointers.
“The 3-pointers were really awesome seeing I didn’t get to hit any in the season,” Manning said. “I just went out there to have fun. There are kids here I usually don’t ever get the chance to play with except my (Midview) teammate Marcell (Young). After I made my first couple of shots I was feeling good so I wasn’t going to stop shooting.”
The game started out like a 3-point shooting contest with the first five field goals all coming from beyond the arc, but players loosened up they showed their speed and agility by taking it to the rim and displaying how quickly they could move the ball up and down the court.
Gray led 50-35 at the half but the Black made a strong run to cut the deficit to four at 56-52 on a basket from Firelands’ Jacob Schmitz with 13:30 remaining.
Gray finally pulled away late, ending the game on a 20-8 run.
Wellington’s Noah Diermyer had a big shooting day for the Gray. Diermier had three 3-pointers, all in the first half, and finished with 23 points.
“It was a blast being out here with different teammates I’ve never had the chance to play with before,” Diermyer said. “We’re just trying to have some fun, throwing lobs and shooting some threes.”
Lorain’s Aaron Whitehead (12), Elyria Catholic’s Edward Wright (11) and Firelands’ Mitchell Hodges (10) were all in double figures for the Gray.
The Black was led by Amherst junior Christian Pfeiffer, who had 24 points, and Lorain junior Jordan Jackson’s 19.
“It was a really fun game going at the best players from all over the county. There was some great competition out there,” Jackson said. “It was good to know coming off the season I could still do something out there, even though I haven’t been working on basketball a lot.”
Black led the game on three occasions, all in the first half. Its final lead came with just over 13 minutes remaining in the first half when Columbia’s Brandon Fisher checked into the game and hit a quick 3-pointer to give his team a 15-13 lead.
Elyria’s MarSaun Robinson was also in double figures for the Black with 12 points.