Lady Templars get triple the points
of Lady Hawk opponents, win 66-22
By Matt Harris
MANTI—Playing at home against a struggling rival, the Lady Templars only had to do one thing—take care of business.
They decided to do two things—take care of business and leave no doubt.
The Manti girls’ basketball team continued their recent tear with a dominant 66-22 win over rival North Sanpete, who beat them twice last season. The Lady Templars had their best scoring game of the season, making 25 field goals and 11 free throws.
The two programs’ rebuilds started last season with the hiring of Coach Brennon Schweikart for Manti and Coach Taylor Christensen for North Sanpete. After this last game, while North Sanpete has struggled to get off the ground, Manti is looking far ahead of schedule. The reason why, according to Schweikart, is simple.
“Belief,” Schweikart answered. “These girls have bought in and continually believe that they can play with anyone. That belief is contagious, and our program is full of girls that want to play every game and truly want to play against the best.”
The Lady Templars were on top from the very start, 14-7 after the first quarter, but the real dominance that told the story was in the second. Manti threw up another 15 points and held North Sanpete scoreless to take a 22-point lead into halftime. It never got any closer.
North Sanpete had a mere four scorers on the night, led by senior Sarah Oldroyd’s 11 points. North Sanpete made only eight field goals.
For Manti, three juniors led the charge as Kassidy Alder led all scorers with 17 points, her season high. Allie Bridges scored 12 points, and Katie Larsen scored 10 points. Senior Brook Barson led in rebounding with 11. Larsen also had 7 steals.
“I understand wanting to win and being competitive, especially in a rivalry game, and that’s what they did,” Christensen said. “We have some work to do and are excited about where we are headed.”
Christensen’s optimism in the face of adversity paid off as the Lady Hawks finally earned their second win, this one a convincing 42-25 victory over Maeser Prep, the following weekend.
In easily the most complete game of North Sanpete’s season, Oldroyd broke out for 17 points. It was the first time North Sanpete had scored 40-points or more this season.
“It was great,” Christensen said. “The girls were extremely excited to play well and get another win. We are excited to have a chance to get a couple more on the road this week.”
For Manti, the Lady Templars followed up their win with a fifth consecutive victory, defeating Juab, 43-25, making it nine straight in games not having to do with the Central Utah Basketball Preview.
Manti handled the Lady Wasps from start to finish. Larsen and Alder scored 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Manti’s remaining foes during the regular season are all near the bottom of the RPI rankings, giving the Lady Templars a high likelihood of achieving an undefeated run through their first year in Region 14.
“Our focus is on one game at a time,” Schweikart said. “We don’t get caught up in records or who we play four games from now. We focus on one opponent at a time and focus on defending our home court. Everything else falls into place. We had a great week of basketball, and we want to continue that play. These ladies are working so hard and keep getting better. This is a fun group to watch.”
The Lady Templars played Maeser Prep last Tuesday and face American Leadership tonight. They will then travel to face Union next Tuesday.
The Lady Hawks look to try and sneak in their third season victory. Having played American Leadership last Tuesday, they face Union on the road tonight. They will face Juab next Tuesday.