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Manti’s Nicole Nelson, No. 4 with the ball, looks to pass to an open teammate against San Juan last Saturday, while Ashton Wood, No. 12, hustles for position. The Templars went on to lose to San Juan 65-32.

Lady Templars up and down, but victory over Grand shines

 

By Matt Harris

 

01-10-2019

 

MANTI—Manti girls hoopsters have a long way to go, but last week looked like a small step in the right direction.

            The Lady Templars got shelled by Richfield, 67-37, and San Juan, 65-32, but sandwiched between the losses an impressive victory over Grand, 70-48, exceeding their normal offensive output by nearly 30 points.

            “Friday against Grand was what Manti basketball is all about,” head coach Brennon Schweikart said. “For that game, we put together a full game. We had a well-balanced and disciplined attack. We played much like how we finished in Richfield.  This time we put together a full game and did not play in parts.  We made open shots which led to 30 made field goals for the game.  It was a great all-around basketball game.”

            Sophomore Katie Larson owned the paint against the Lady Devils with 8 offensive rebounds while sophomore Breanna Barson had a breakout night with 12 points, leading the Lady Templars in scoring. Larson continues to impress as a statistical leader for Manti, averaging just under 10 points per game so far this season.

            Even more impressive than the win itself, was how it looked. When Manti held a 3-point lead at halftime, they came out and rained on Grand for a 21-10 third quarter and never looked back.

            Richfield and San Juan proved that there is work to be done in Manti for the Lady Templars to make noise in a shark tank-like region. “San Juan was a tough game, and tough games happen,” Schweikart said. “We had a lot of open shots and they didn’t fall; games like that happen.  Learning how to follow up a big win and come back and be just as focused the next day is the mark of a championship mindset. That mindset is what our girls are learning.”

            Manti takes on South Sevier next Tuesday before next Thursday’s rivalry against North Sanpete in Mt. Pleasant.