Lady Templars drop two games, but earn good win over ALA
MANTI—The Manti Lady Templar basketball team earned some valuable varsity experience last week.
After a close 49-44 loss to Maeser Prep on Tuesday, Nov, 29, Manti won a 38-20 defensive battle over American Leadership Academy (ALA) on Dec. 1 before a tough 66-26 road loss at North Sanpete the next day.
“We didn’t play very well the first half,” Manti coach Roger Watson said in regards to the in-county rivalry loss. I’m proud of my kids for playing hard the second half. They never gave up and showed great sportsmanship.”
Against Maeser, turnovers hurt the Templars early. By the half, Manti had turned the ball over 18 times, yielding eight of the Lionesses’ 24 points. At the intermission, the Lady Templars trailed 24-16.
Templar fans watched a faster paced, up-tempo game in the second half as Manti chiseled away at the Maeser lead. With two minutes left to play, Jamie Bawden got a layup off a Leah Howe steal to pull within three points. The final seconds of the game came down to free throws. Maeser went six of 10 while the Templars were two of six from the line.
Manti continued to rebound well, pulling down an impressive 43 boards compared to 27 by the Lionesses. The Templars took better care of the ball in the second half, only turning it over seven times in the final 16 minutes.
Howe led the Templars with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Bawden had 12 points and six boards, Auri Squire had seven points, and Amie Squire and Kjerstin Birch had five each.
In a total team effort, the Lady Templars took control of the game against ALA. There were 10 different Lady Templars who got into the scoring column, with Bawden netting a game-high 15 points. Howe added seven points and grabbed 11 rebounds.
Auri Squire continued to do a good job filling in for the injured Avalin Cook. Squire had five points and four assists. Amber Naylor had three points; Cassidie Larsen and Keslee Cox had two each. Birch joined Amie Squire, LaRiah Rosser and Tyra Hermensen with one point each. Birch also had seven rebounds.
Against the Hawks, Manti continued to struggle from the charity stripe, hitting only eight of 28. (See related story).
This week the Lady Templars will be on the road to take on a couple of opponents. Today they will be at South Sevier. The Rams are 2-3 on the year with both their wins coming over Nevada schools. Saturday will see the Lady Templars playing in Duchesne. The Eagles are 1-5 on the year.