Lady Templars get first win against Providence, fall to San Juan, 42-38
By Matt Harris
MANTI—With few practices allowed in a complicated season, the Lady Templars have had to focus on what they know best—defense.
Thus did Manti girls’ basketball team fight their way to their first win of the season last Thursday against Providence Hall, 48-40, and subsequently fall, 42-38, to San Juan last Saturday, the second time in Manti’s first three games that they have been held under 40 points.
“I think our defense translates,” Coach Brennon Schweikart said. “We can go play anybody anywhere, and our defense will carry. I think the biggest thing that we are dealing with right now is just offensive consistency. We’ve had three very slow starts in our three games, and it’s something that we have to improve in order to win basketball games.”
The Lady Templars looked great for the first half against Providence Hall, leading by 17 points at half, 31-14, and frankly had to hold on in the second half as they only managed 17 points the rest of the way.
Expectedly, senior star guard Kassidy Alder led the team in scoring with 15 points on 5 shots, but the pleasant surprise for Schweikart was the impact of junior forward Tiffany Hermanson, who entered the starting lineup for the first time against the Patriots.
All she did was nearly record a double-double with 14 points and 8 rebounds.
“She’s been able to step into that [starting] role and really step it up in some really awesome ways,” Schweikart said.
Manti’s defensive intensity was on full display when they held San Juan, a team that had just come off of an 82-43 win against Monticello the game before, to a mere 42 points, but the consistency issue on offense reared its head once again. Alder and Hermansen led the scoring effort once again, but with a mere 9 and 7 points, respectively.
Manti hits the busiest week of their season this week. Having already played cross-town rival North Sanpete last Tuesday after press time, they will be on the court for three straight days. They first host Juab on Thursday and then will participate in the Central Utah Basketball Preview at the Sevier Valley Center in Richfield, playing South Sevier on Friday then Richfield on Saturday. They’ll be on the road to play North Sevier the following Tuesday.