Tyler Heffernan | Sea Devil Sports Journalist
Wilmington, NC - Of all the decisions Ryan Mantlo made on the sidelines Saturday night during the Cape Fear Community College men's basketball team's 80-75 win over Clinton Junior College, a wardrobe decision before the game might have been his best.
The previous game, Friday night against Denmark Technical Community College, Mantlo ditched the suit for a CFCC sweater vest and the Sea Devils came away with a 14-point victory. It was a no-brainer to stick to the sweater.
"I was getting ready today and thinking, 'Man, do I want to wear a suit? Maybe I want to wear a sweater. Let me just try it out again,'" he said, laughing. "It might be a new trend for me."
On the sidelines, Mantlo took care of any superstitions. On the court, Emmanuel Andrews handled the Golden Bears. The Liberty University-bound guard scored 16 of his game-high 25 points to lead the Sea Devils to their second consecutive win.
"We recruited him to be a point guard, so he got to play his natural position tonight, and I think you saw how special he can be," Mantlo said. "He's never afraid to take shots. He believes that every shot he shoots is going to go in."
Andrews scored the Sea Devils' final six points in the last 1:43. The dominant stretch featured Andrews shooting 2-for-2 from the field and adding a pair of free throws. Clinton, as a team, was 0-for-3 from the field, 1-for-2 from the charity stripe and had a turnover. "Certain players that are special have that ability, and he's one of those kids," Mantlo added.
CFCC (13-15 overall, 4-8 Region 10) was without its starting point guard Rakeem Wilson, who was succumbed to the sidelines after spraining his right thumb in Friday's game. The Golden Bears tried to take advantage of his absence by pressuring the Sea Devil ballhandlers with a 2-2-1 three-quarter-court press. It fueled a 12-2 run to close the first half, which Clinton used to tie the game at 42 at intermission.
Eight CFCC players scored in the effort. Landen Atterberry added 11 of his 15 points in the second half and fellow big man Faronte Drakeford continued his consistent play with 11 points.
The Sea Devils return to the Schwartz Center Wednesday night to entertain rival Brunswick Community College in their home finale. CFCC concludes its regular season at Denmark Technical Community College, March 2.
"It's just important for our guys that we learn how to win. The past two nights we got great performances," Mantlo said. "The more that you win it becomes a habit. If we can win two more heading into the (Region 10) tournament, not a soul is going to want to play us."