Junior Templars claim victory
in Color Country tournament
By Lyle Fletcher
Mar. 1, 2018
PANGUITCH—A basketball team of fourth-graders took on all comers from central and southern Utah and emerged victorious in the recent Color Country Invitational Basketball Tournament.
The winning Manti Jr. Templars team includes three players from Manti and four from Ephraim.
The tournament began in Kanab on Feb. 10 to determine seeding and brackets, and the final games of the tournament took place in Panguitch on Saturday, Feb. 17.
Manti was seeded fourth and beat fifth-seed Cedar City in the quarterfinals.
Dean Barton, one of Manti’s coaches, said Manti surprised the top-seeded Kanab Cowboys in the semifinals by getting out to a big first-half lead and then held on while a physical Kanab attempted a comeback in the second half.
In the championship game, Manti faced the second-seed Panguitch Bobcats.
Barton said this game was a low-scoring one—a physical, defensive battle.
Manti overcame a one-point deficit in the last three minutes and then pulled away down the stretch with a trapping defense that created turnovers, easy layups and free throws, he said.
“Manti played great team defense,” he added. “They really played with a lot of heart and energy.”
Two of Manti’s players were honored by being selected to the All-Tournament Team:
Bentley Shaffer of Ephraim and Wilson Barton of Manti.