MANTI—To the Lady Templars’ credit, they made their last game look a lot better in the end.
That didn’t necessarily wash away all the negative as Manti girls’ basketball team suffered their third loss of the season. The Lady Templars lost at home to Layton Christian Academy, 56-52, last Thursday after a massive comeback bid fell short.
Manti found themselves down 48-29 at the end of the third quarter with seemingly another rout in the making. Then senior Charlee Mandel scored on three straight possessions for the Templars, sparking a massive scoring run that brought Manti within striking distance in the final two minutes. With 1:15 remaining, junior Heidi Jorgensen buried a 3-pointer to make it a five-point game.
After another field goal, the Lady Templars were within two points with seconds to go, but with no other alternative than to foul LCA and put them on the line, the Eagles knocked down their free throws to ice the game.
Mandel and Jorgensen each scored 14 points to lead the Templars, including three 3-pointers from Jorgensen all in the fourth quarter. Senior Tiffany Hermansen scored 11 points. When all was said and done, Manti made only one field goal less than LCA and outshot them from the charity stripe, hitting 13-16 to LCA’s 10-17. The Eagles held the edge on outside shooting, hitting seven 3-pointers to Manti’s three.
“The team battled,” Coach Brennon Schweikart said. “We have a group that is learning who they are. It hasn’t been a fast start to the season, but with a difficult schedule, we are on track. It’s going to click. Anytime you can come back from 19 down in the fourth quarter and be down by three with 30 seconds left show you have a great group. We are getting there.”
Despite looking for positives among Manti’s 1-3 start to the season, Schweikart noted the most obvious flaw of the squad so far this season. “We need to learn to trust each other in our team defense,” Schweikart said. “We have not been playing Manti defense.”
Manti will remain at home to take on Richfield on Tuesday before they go up north to Summit Academy on Thursday.