Lady Templars ‘hitting their stride,’ says coach
By Robert Green
MANTI—Two losses and a strong win defined the Lady Templars’ hoop performance last week, leaving head coach Brennon Schweikart excited about what he sees.
The Manti girls’ basketball team fell to a strong second-half showing from Payson, 43-32, last Tuesday before being trucked over by Millard at home, 54-34. Manti, nevertheless, finished the week on a high note with a 49-45 win over Delta.
“After six games in nine days, Manti is hitting their stride and trending up,” Schweikart said. “This stretch, games have been against some of the best in 2A and 3A with one school [Payson] being 4A. Our young team is learning what it takes to win basketball games no matter the opponent. Our team is improving daily and is excited to get back on the court for our next game.”
Against Payson, Manti’s strong first-half showing had the Lionesses pinned against the ropes and trailing the Templars by 6 points at the half. Payson made up the entire difference in a quarter, taking a 1-point lead and leaving Manti in the dust by the end of the game.
Millard never gave the Templars a shot last Thursday, outscoring them in every quarter in route to a 20-point beating. It was also the second consecutive game in which no Manti player scored in double figures.
The Lady Templars finally breathed new life against a tough Delta squad by posting a much-needed road victory over the Rabbits. Sophomores Katie Larson and Kassidy Alder stepped up the scoring to lead Manti with 13 and 11 points, respectively.
A key weakness in Manti’s losses to the Lionesses and Lady Eagles was an insurmountable dearth from the charity stripe. The Lady Templars shot 16-37 from the free-throw line in those games, just 43 percent, compared to 13-22, or 59 percent, against Delta.
This week, Manti will face off against 4A Orem and 1A Tintic. Then a rivalry awaits as the Templars head south to battle with Gunnison Valley next Thursday.