MANTI — The Manti boys basketball team dropped a 57-55 contest to Union on Senior Night.
Sophomore Reggie Frischknecht’s potential game-tying layup came after the buzzer sounded, allowing Union to escape with the two-point win.
The Templars experienced cold shooting for the entire game, only making three from the behind arc. That’s the lowest number of 3-pointers made by Manti in a region game this season. Frischknecht’s post prowess kept the Templars in the game as he finished with a game-high 22 points.
Manti struggled on defense as well due to the intentionally slow pace of the Cougars, who dragged out many possessions for a minute or more in the second half to preserve the lead against the often-streaky Templars.
The Templars also posted an 84-66 win over Carbon, and finished the regular season with a 13-9 overall record, their lowest overall winning percentage since joining 3A in 2017. Their 5-3 record in Region 14 was good for second place in region standings.
Against Carbon, it was junior Christian Hansen who led all scorers with 25 points, while junior Dylan Anderson chipped in with 14 points.
Per RPI ranking released this weekend, the Templars secured a No. 7 ranking and seed in the 3A state tournament beginning this week. This gives Manti a first-round bye and homecourt advantage in their second-round matchup with Juab.
“Our boys are excited for the opportunity and grateful to be in the playoffs and to start them at home,” coach Devin Shakespear said. “[It] should be fun.”
Union was shooting hot from everywhere in the first quarter to build a 19-14 lead. Union extended the lead to double digits at the five-minute mark of the second quarter on a pair of free throws. Manti was cold through the second quarter, scoring only eight points to enter halftime down, 32-23.
Going into the final period, the Templars were behind, 47-41. Manti rallied its way to a 47-45 deficit, before another 3-pointer by Union created more distance. Down 57-55 with a minute and a half to go, Manti had only committed one foul and were forced to commit five more over the final minute just to get a possession.
The Templars will begin the playoffs at home against Juab this Saturday. If Manti wins, the Templars will likely have a rematch with rival North Sanpete in the quarterfinals at Weber State University next week.