Bill Lusk | WVOW News
MAN- Jeremiah Harless posted his eleventh straight double-double on Thursday night to lead Class A number two Man to a 74-43 victory over Sherman at Man Memorial Fieldhouse.
Harless tallied 33 points on 14-of-19 shooting, pulled down 20 rebounds and added five steals, three assists and three steals as Man advance its winning streak to 12 games.
Harless, a 6’5’’ senior, scored 21 of his career-high 33 in the second half. His previous career-high was 31 points, which he set on Jan. 21 in Man’s 73-55 victory over Wyoming East.
Thursday’s performance was the second time that Harless has scored 30-or-more points and hauled down 20-or-more rebounds in a game this season.
The accomplishments don’t stop there as Harless has five games where he has scored 20-or-more points and grabbed 20-or-more rebounds, five games of 20-or-more rebounds and eight games with at least 15 rebounds.
The five steals tied a season high, which he accomplished twice in wins over Tolsia and Richwood, and it was the eighth game that he has blocked three shots or more.
Man coach TJ Blevins said that Harless’ run is no big surprise to him.
“Again, he had a monster night and I mean it’s almost a given thing now,” Blevins said. “He is a walking double-double is what he is, and he has turned into that.”
Despite scoring 70-or-more points for the 12th time this season, Blevins wasn’t pleased with his team's first half effort.
Man, who never trailed in the contest, used an 12-3 first quarter run to take a 14-5 lead after one quarter of play. The Hillbillies lead would reach 13 points in the second quarter, 22-9, before Sherman went on an 11-4 run to close within six, 26-20, with 2:17 remaining.
Man would get a 3 from Trey Brown with a under a minute to play in the opening half and led the Tide 29-20 at halftime.
“I wasn’t pleased with our first half effort at all, I was very upset with it, did not like, did not like their movements, and at times I thought we were stagnant,” Blevins said. “We got to get moving more on defense than we move on offense.”
“Offense we move because we want the ball,” Blevins said. “Defense is a choice and we have got to get after it.”
Man’s advantage reached 11 points in the third quarter on Harless’ eight-foot jumper with 3:27 to play, but a high arcing rainbow 3 from Isaac Johnson brought Sherman back to within eight points, 36-28, with 3:08 to play.
Sherman elected to call a timeout where Blevins issued a challenge to his team.
“I challenged them pretty hard about taking the full court and attacking it,” Blevins said. “Some of the underclassmen were chewing each other and I guess everybody challenged everybody.”
Out of the timeout Man answered with four consecutive baskets after forcing four straight turnovers. The lead quickly ballooned to 18 but it did not stop there.
Dalton Rollo’s free throw with 1:41 remaining broke a streak of 10 straight Hillbilly points, but Man would close the quarter with five straight points to lead 51-29 after three quarters.
The lead would continue to grow as the Hillbillies scored the first eight points of the fourth quarter before Sherman would answer with a basket to end Man’s run.
When it was said and done, Man had outscored Sherman, 23-1, over a span of 4:40 that saw the Hillbillies make 11 of their 14 field goal attempts, forcing seven turnovers and held Sherman without a field goal for 4:55.
“We got after it,” Blevins said. “That was a big turnaround in the game.”
Sherman never got closer than 27 points the rest of the way as Man improved to 7-0 against Class A Region 4 Section 1 opponents this season.
“It is a good win over sectional opponent, and a win is a win so I will take it,” Blevins said. “This should wrap up the one seed for us, and from what I understand the ballots come out in the morning.”
Aden Martin finished with 17 points and was a catalyst in Man’s 14-point first quarter where he scored eight points.
“He is streaky and can score six, eight or 10 points very quickly,” Blevins said. “He is hard to stop when he gets going to the basket.”
Man, who shot a season low 25.5% in Tuesday’s victory over Tug Valley, shot 51.5% from the field after halftime and 46.4% overall. The Hillbillies struggled from 3 connecting on just 3-of-21 attempts for 14.3%.
“Shooting wasn’t where we needed to be tonight,” Blevins said. “Again, we didn’t hit a whole lot of 3’s tonight, and that is encouraging because we were driving to the basket and put up 74 points.”
Rollo led Sherman with 15 points. The Tide shot 27.9% from the field and shot just 18.5% (5-for-27) from 3-point range.
Sherman, who had won seven of its last eight, falls to 14-7 overall and will travel to Midland Trail to close out the regular season Tuesday.
Man improves to 16-2 and will host Van Friday night.
“I know they are happy about the 12-game win streak, but I try to tell them each night to keep their head level and not to overlook anybody,” Blevins said. “We are going take Van the same way.”
It will also be senior night as Man will honor its six seniors: Caleb Blevins, Jayden Brown, Trey Brown, Harless, Brady Hall-Montgomery and Martin, before tipoff Friday night.
“I will be playing six seniors the majority of the game, and they deserve it,” Blevins said. “These guys understand their roles and there will be some new faces out there so it should be fun.”
Man is scheduled to close out the season Tuesday night at home against Class AAAA Hurricane, but Blevins still has one game that he could schedule and with the sectional tournament starting March third. He is hopeful to find an opponent.
Man is currently 7-0 at home this season and has won its last 13 games and 21 of its last 24 played at the Man Memorial Fieldhouse. The last home loss for Man came Feb. 21, 2020, when the Hillbillies were defeated by Huntington St. Joe’s 62-53.
“We are undefeated at home, and we have got to keep protecting home court,” Blevins said. “I don’t know a whole lot about Hurricane, but I know they got a seven-footer, and he will be a good challenge for Jeremiah underneath.”
Honoring the 1990 Class AA Runner-up Team
At halftime, Blevins and the Hillbillies recognized the 1989-90 Class AA Runner-up squad that lost to Wheeling Central in the Class AA championship.
Man advanced to the state tournament with victories over Oceana (95-89) and Baileysville (76-68) to capture the Class AA Region 6 Section 1 championship.
Man defeated Big Creek (86-69) for the Class AA Region 6 crown and the school’s first state tournament berth since 1928.
Man opened state tournament play with a 91-84 victory over rival Tolsia, a team that had defeated Man twice in the regular season and knocked off Midland Trail (86-80) in the semifinals.
“We don’t have stuff like that here much and I was tickled to death to see all of then trickling in,” Blevins said. “We had a little hospitality for them setting up there on the stage and they looked like they were having a good time and it was nice to just see old faces.”
Man 74, Sherman 43
Dalton Rollo 6-17 3-4 15, AJ Skeens 3-11 0-0 7, Andrew Simpson 2-8 0-0 6, Cameron Caldwell 2-5 0-0 5, Isaac Johnson 1-2 0-0 3, Logan Green 1-8 0-0 2, Jacob Welch 1-4 0-0 2, Seth Ward 1-2 0-0 2,
Bryce Mills 0-2 1-2 1, CJ Winnell 0-2 0-0 0. Totals: 17-61 4-6 43.
Jeremiah Harless 14-19 5-6 33, Aden Martin 7-11 1-3 17, Trey Brown 3-10 0-0 7, Jordan Adams 3-5 0-0 6, Jacob Walls 2-5 1-2 5, Caleb Blevins 2-15 0-0 4, James Scites 1-2 0-0 2, Jayden Brown 0-1 0-0 0,
Colton Miller 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 32-69 7-11 73.
Sherman 5 15 9 14- 43
Man 14 15 22 23- 73
3-point field goals- Sherman 5-27 (Rollo 0-4, Skeens 1-4, Simpson 2-7, Caldwell 1-4, Johnson 1-1, Green 0-4, Ward 0-1, Winnell 0-2), Man 3-21 (Martin 2-3, Brown, T. 1-6, Walls 0-1, Blevins 0-9, Scites 0-1, Brown, J. 0-1). Rebounds- Sherman 36 (Skeens 8, Welch 8), Man 43 (Harless 20). Assists- Sherman 7 (Caldwell 3), Man 12 (Harless 3). Total fouls- Sherman 9, Man 8. Technicals- None. Fouled out- None.