Lady Templars bounce out of break to overcome Delta in 3-23 slugfest
By Matt Harris
MANTI—Not much was expected of the Lady Templars at the beginning of this season as they were fresh off a listless campaign near the bottom of 3A standings.
Change expectations. Change them quick.
Manti girls’ basketball continued an undefeated run through Region 14 with arguably their best win of the season from an RPI standpoint, beating Delta, 33-23, on their own court in a defensive slugfest between the top two teams in the region.
“You cannot ask for a better game between the top two teams in the region,” Coach Brennon Schweikart said. “It was a blast to watch our ladies compete at such a high level for a full 32 minutes. We had three of our girls in foul trouble in the first half. This made us go deep into our bench, and we rose to the challenge.”
Despite the incredibly low-scoring affair, Manti had seven different scorers. Junior Katie Larsen led the charge with a team-high 8 points, 6 rebounds, and a remarkable 5 steals.
Manti got out to an early lead, 8-3 after one quarter, but Delta kept the pace trading baskets with the Lady Templars before halftime. Manti held a 16-12 lead at halftime.
The third quarter proved another low-scoring affair, but Manti slightly extended its lead, 22-17.
The Lady Templars put the game away in the fourth with their best eight minutes of the game offensively, scoring 11 points and shutting the door on the Rabbits.
Delta maintained a steady advantage throughout the match of getting to the line at a higher rate, shooting 20 free throws to Manti’s 13. Luckily for Manti, Delta only made nine of them.
The win moved Manti’s record to 9-5 and 5-0 in region play. Taking away the Central Utah Basketball Preview, the Lady Templars have won seven straight.
“Our team has all the potential in the world, and if we keep rising up to the challenge, then I believe we can compete for a region championship and go make some waves at state,” Schweikart said. “I would have to say that this group of ladies is one of the most resilient groups I have ever had the pleasure of being a part of. They continue to rise to every occasion and challenge.”
UHSAA RPI rankings listed Manti at No. 10 as of last weekend.
The Lady Templars hosted North Sanpete after press time last Tuesday, and they will host Juab tonight at 7 p.m.