Lady Templars are hot
and cold in four games
By Matt Harris
MANTI—It was, as Coach Brennon Schweikart put it, a “Jekyll and Hyde” week for the Manti girls’ basketball team.
It began with the most dominant victory of Schweikart’s coaching career, a 72-19 win over North Sanpete, and a big win over Juab, 54-31. Then it ended with a pair of tough losses as Manti went 0-2 at the Central Utah Basketball Preview, falling to South Sevier, 40-31, and Richfield, 39-19. These two consecutive losses showed that Manti has a long trail to compete with the top dogs of the 3A field.
“We’ve had some highs and some lows, that’s for darn sure,” Schweikart said.
The high was the highest-scoring game of Schweikart’s career as the Lady Templars hung 72 points on a struggling North Sanpete squad, scoring over 70 points for only the second time in 3 years. Manti was up 26-4 at halftime.
Most of Manti’s dominance came at the guard position. Sophomore Heidi Jorgensen and senior Kassidy Alder each scored 14 points to lead all scorers. Senior Breanna Barson scored 11 points to back it up.
On the North Sanpete side, it was senior Eryn Briggs who led the efforts as she scored 8 points.
Manti’s ceiling rose further when the Lady Templars posted a convincing win over Juab, outsourcing the Lady Wasps in every quarter in a home victory.
Alder led the Templars again with 12 points, while Jorgensen netted 11 points. Senior Allie Bridges chipped in 11 points as well.
The low for Manti was just the opposite. Manti’s 19-point game against Richfield was the only time since 2018 the Templars had been held below 20 points.
Prior to the Richfield game, Manti struggled against a top-tier South Sevier team, going an ice-cold 2 of 21 on 3-point attempts. Consequently, it was the forward Barson who led in that game with 9 points. Barson also nabbed 10 rebounds.
In the second half against the Richfield Wildcats, the wheels fell off for the Lady Templars. Manti’s defense kept the first half of the game a close, low-scoring matchup as the first half ended with Richfield leading, 18-16.
After that, Manti’s defense continued to hold strong, but offense was nowhere to be found as the Templars scored only 3 points in the third quarter and were shockingly held scoreless in the fourth.
Schweikart remained optimistic about one key theme across all four games last week: stout defense.
“A lot of people are going to overlook it because all they see is losses,” Schweikart said, “but we held two teams under 40 points.”
Manti’s scoring currently holds opponents to an average of 36.1 points per game.
The Lady Templars faced North Sevier last Tuesday and will be at home to host South Summit next Tuesday.