East's 57-53 loss to Manhattan in a Class 6A sub-state game Thursday isn't necessarily one which will cause boys basketball coach Ron Allen to lose much sleep.
He'll be disappointed, though, if his players get the necessary eight hours for the next few nights.
"I didn't play tonight," Allen said. "They're the ones that played and for the life of me I don't know why you show up in a game that there's so much at stake and you don't leave it on the floor like that. If it doesn't bother you, then maybe you're in the wrong place."
Allen accurately described the Aces' performance as lethargic. Though sophomore guard Jalen Love nearly willed East to a win with hot stretches in the third and fourth quarters, Manhattan stayed steady and no East player consistently matched Love's energy.
Now the Indians get a game against Southeast on Saturday for a state tournament berth while the Aces are sent home as early as Allen can remember.
"After we hit them, we let them hit us back," Love said. "I think if we would have hit them again they might have went down, but they hit us, making us go down. We lost confidence in ourselves and we didn't play well at the end."
Love's three-point play tied it 26-26 early in the third, and his baskets on two of the next three East possessions put the Aces ahead by one.
In the fourth, Love scored seven straight points to turn a five-point deficit into a 44-42 East lead with five minutes to go. But the Aces couldn't capitalize and Manhattan regained control.
The Indians led 52-48 with 41 seconds to go before a Chris Johnson three-pointer got East to within one. After two Manhattan free throws, Ja'ln Williams missed a deep three pointer with 10 seconds to go and Manhattan sealed it from the line.
"I rushed it a little bit," Williams said. "I felt like it was a good look because the defense was moving. I should have swung it one more time and hit Love, because he was knocking them down."
East's poor effort was most apparent in Manhattan's 39-20 rebounding edge.
"The underclassmen showed a lot of emotion after the game," Allen said. "We know what we need to do from this point on. We'll let the other guys battle it out and we'll stay at home. That's unfortunate, because that's not where I want to be."
Manhattan (11-10) 9 14 12 22 -- 57 Wichita East (15-6) 15 8 9 21 -- 53
MANHATTAN: Nelson 6 8-8 22, Brooks 2 1-4 6, Francis 4 6-8 14, Stitt 1 6-6 9, Wilkinson 0 3-4 3, Connet 0 3-6 3. Totals 13 (4) 27-36 57.
EAST: Love 6 5-6 17, Williams 7 0-2 15, Jackson 3 0-0 6, Walton 0 2-2 2, Carter 0 2-4 2, Duque 0 1-2 1, Johnson 1 0-0 3, Griffin 1 0-0 3, Reed 1 0-0 2, Melbert 1 0-0 2. Totals 20 (3) 10-16 53.