MANTI—The Manti Templars taught their opponent a valuable lesson last Tuesday before the holidays: Never let up on a great team.
Manti boys’ hoops prevailed in an epic comeback at home against Millard, 53-52. The win moved their overall record to 5-5 and broke a four-game losing streak.
Sophomore Reggie Frischknecht led all scorers in the game with 21 points. Junior Larson Pogroszewski backed him up with 12 points. The Templars combined to make five 3-pointers and were 8-12 from the free throw line. Senior Ashton Swenson made two 3’s to score six points, his highest-scoring game with Manti.
Millard led for nearly the entire game by double-digits, shooting over 60 percent from the field in the first half to frustrate the Manti defense. The Eagles led by 20 points shortly before the end of the third quarter.
With roughly a minute and a half in the third, Manti hit a pair of free throws, then a layup, then Pogroszewski buried a 3-pointer with seconds left for a 7-0 run before the start of the fourth quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Manti turned on the pressure, switching to a full-court press and executing perfectly. Millard’s hot offense did not make a single field goal in the fourth quarter.
After struggling from everywhere for most of the game, the Templars found the soft spot in Millard’s defense, an overhead pass to the high post that was virtually always open in the second half. This turned into a 16-2 run in the fourth quarter.
With 55 seconds remaining, Pogroszewski made a free throw to make it 52-49 with Millard leading. He missed the second one, but caught his own rebound to restart the possession, leading to a bucket by junior Hayden Wade, his only basket of the game.
Manti forced a turnover at half court with 26 seconds left, and on Manti’s last true offensive possession, they went to the high post once again for Frischknecht, who Millard triple-teamed to the point of fouling on the ground. Frischkencht coolly buried both shots of the 1-and-1 to give Manti the first lead of the game since being up 3-2 in the first quarter.
Millard’s last stand was a wide-open corner-3 that clanked off the back iron.
The Templars will travel south for a county clash with Gunnison Valley this Wednesday.