Hawks beat Emery, Maeser Prep, lose to Manti Templars
By Rhett Wilkinson
The North Sanpete boys’ basketball team was able to give many players varsity experience in wins over Emery and Maeser Prep, while a 9-0 run by Manti made all the difference in the Hawks’ defeat to the Templars last week.
North Sanpete (4-2, 1-1 Region 14) beat Emery (2-4) 81-58 Saturday, Dec. 19 in Mt. Pleasant. The Hawks led 45-20 after the first half. Dallon Steadman had 28 points on 12-of-15 shooting as North Sanpete had inside looks available on many, if not most, first-half possessions.
“As we watched film … we felt like we could attack them at the rim,” Hawks Coach Cris Hoopes said. “They are really passing the ball to each other … we had a lot of assists, which is something that we stat quite a bit.”
Brady Jacobson had eight assists.
“The guards are doing great at getting the ball to [Steadman and Landon Milne],” Hoopes said later. “The rotation for them just happened to be the right one for Dallon and Landon.”
Milne chipped in nine points.
Hoopes thought the team’s energy was good in playing its third game in four nights.
North Sanpete defeated Maeser Prep (0-8, 0-2) 74-13 (yes, you read that right) Friday, Dec. 18 in Lindon.
“We played pretty good,” Hoopes said, focusing later on the defensive effort. “We had a good team win.”
Thirteen players scored in Lindon, with 14 getting varsity experience.
“We really like being able to get them all in,” Hoopes said. “It’s good experience for them and they’re good players—we haven’t lost a JV game … it’s good to reward them.”
When asked about getting 28 steals, Hoopes said “I kind of feel bad” for the Lions.
“They should probably be in 2A,” Hoopes said. “I think they work hard and I think they do a good job with their program, [but] everybody’s beating them kind of bad. It’s … a hard situation for them, I think.”
Tyrel Morley shot 7-of-8 from the field en route to scoring 15 points while nabbing six steals.
“Ty … just was in the right place, doing what he needs to do defensively and it led to a lot of good things,” Hoopes said. “He … got to the hoop a lot, especially on fast breaks … He’s worked a lot on his defense.”
When the Hawks lost 71-67 to defending state champion Manti (5-3, 1-0) Wednesday, Dec. 16 in Mt. Pleasant, the 9-0 didn’t even last three minutes. Yet, that’s how little separated the Hawks from the Templars in the contest.
“That’s why we lost,” Hoopes said.
“Big, big difference was obviously that run,” Manti Coach Devin Shakespear said.
“I don’t know what the word is—we started playing a little not our style,” Hoopes said. “We did the same thing in Carbon—they made a run in the second quarter and it cost us. You get down by 10 points and you’re working your guts out to get it to four and then calls, ref’ing calls, then turnovers come into play … then pressure … if you just play good basketball for all 32 minutes, you know, you can handle those situations. … that 9-0 run, it took its toll on our game.”
Shakespear said that aside from objectives to keep their opponent from never scoring more than two consecutive baskets, the Templars try to set “specific goals” “towards getting three consecutive stops.”
“They really dialed in there for about, what, two and a half minutes, three minutes,” Shakespear said. “That 9-0 run not only gave our guys momentum, but a lot of confidence… our defense really stepped up in the second and made a great run to give a little extension there.”
Hoopes pointed out that Manti is a team that has played tough games.
“We’re earning respect,” Hoopes said. “We’re earning that place. Part of earning that is learning some lessons.”
For instance, North Sanpete isn’t shooting well enough from the free throw line, Hoopes said, pointing out it cost the Hawks against the Templars and in a 77-67 loss at Carbon (5-1).
As Hoopes pointed out, the stats for the Manti game were similar between the Hawks and Templars, except that Manti went 15-of-20 from the charity stripe, and North Sanpete, 10-of-18 for just 56 percent.
“We’ve taken some steps turnover-wise, but we have moments where we look inexperienced and we turn the ball over,” Hoopes said.
“Defensively, we’re just not there yet,” Hoopes added.
“If you are … not doing those simple little things you have to do to win, you are going to find yourself on the wrong end of the game,” Hoopes said.
With the Hawks down just three and with the ball, Trevin Morley appeared to be tripped and that’s why he smacked into a Templar. But instead of a foul call against Manti, Trevin Morley was called for a charge. Instead of North Sanpete possibly cutting its deficit to one or tying the game, they found themselves down six after Manti’s Grady Thompson hit a 3-pointer.
“The work that we had done was gone,” Hoopes said.
“I do think that he was tripped,” Hoopes said. “If you were to ask their player, he probably tripped him.
“But that’s how basketball goes,” Hoopes added. “Those free throws and that stretch in [the second] quarter was bigger than that call. We focus on calls as coaches and fans and all that stuff, but that’s not why I feel we lost the game.”
Shakespear called North Sanpete “a good team.”
Jacobson had 14 points and four steals, Trevin Morley had 14 points and Steadman had 10 points and 10 rebounds in the defeat.
The Hawks play South Summit (3-5) at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 29 in Kamas.