Lady Templars finish eighth at state
By Matt Harris
TAYLORSVILLE—An inspirational run for the Lady Templars came to a rather painful end last weekend.
Manti girls’ basketball’s playoff hopes were dashed in the quarterfinals of the 3A state championship tournament as they lost to the top seed and eventual champion South Sevier Rams, 62-31, last Thursday. Manti then lost their next game to Carbon, 68-37, in the consolation bracket to finish eighth in state.
“It’s a tough game,” Coach Brennon Schweikart said after the South Sevier loss. “Anytime that you are on the wrong side of assists and turnovers, shoot 2-19 from the 3-point line, good shots from the 3-point line, that kind of shooting percentage just doesn’t work. My hat’s off to South Sevier.”
South Sevier had a clear advantage all game long in size. The 6-footer Presley Chappell led the Rams with 14 points, all within the paint, while two others netted 13 points each. The Rams shot a blistering 56 percent from the field, including 62.9 percent on 2-pointers.
Sophomore Sharlie Alder was something of a bright spot for the Templars in the loss as she led the team with 10 points and hit Manti’s only two 3-pointers, a hopeful foreshadowing of a bright future. Three of Manti’s five starters were held scoreless while junior Katie Larsen and junior Kassidy Alder scored 7 points apiece.
The Templars were in a hole early as South Sevier began the game on an 8-0 run, six of which came from Chappell. Larsen got Manti’s first points with a layup after five cold minutes. Manti started to make their way back, and the first quarter ended with South Sevier holding a 13-9 lead.
In the second and third quarters, the Rams smothered the Templars and put the game away, scoring 18 points each quarter while holding Manti to a combined nine points in those 16 minutes of play.
Schweikart spoke to senior Megan Olson, who was being held scoreless, telling her to “play as hard as she could, and leave it all on the court.” Only three possessions into the third quarter, strenuous effort met adverse effect as Olson flew up to defend a 3-point attempt. While the shot missed, Olson did not land her block attempt on both feet and broke a bone in her foot.
“It’s a horrific injury in the sense of, she was going out and doing exactly what I asked her to do,” Schweikart said. “It’s really hard to watch.”
With the game in hand for the Rams, Manti kicked in gear in the fourth quarter and got solid production out of their bench players. Manti’s bench outscored their starters for the game, 16-14.
Against Carbon, Manti had yet another untimely cold day shooting the ball, finishing 28.6 percent from the field and an unsightly 5-23 from the free throw line. Carbon outscored the Templars 15-2 in the first quarter and built the lead in every quarter thereafter.
Senior Brook Barson led the team with 14 points.
Manti finishes the season with an overall record of 16-8 alongside a Region 14 title.