Manti’s posting high scores, sweeping away opponent with potent offense
By Robert Stevens
MANTI—If you’re living in Manti and in need of happy thoughts, you can think of barbecued turkey, snow-capped mountains or upcoming holidays.
Or you can think about how the Manti Templars have the most potent offense in 3A basketball and are outscoring 4A teams.
The team has put on a scoring clinic this year, posting more than 70 points per game, and they met the 71-point mark twice in a row last week with wins over Juab, 71-57, and Millard, 71-59.
To put that in perspective, Manti only plays 32 minutes of regulation basketball in a game. It’s like watching the Utah Jazz score 133 points per game. The scoring output is even more impressive when it has held up in different situations among different opponents.
“The game in Juab was a fun game,” head coach Devin Shakespear said. “They had a good crowd and the gym was loud…Guys are getting more experience and starting to step up and give good minutes.”
At the end of one quarter, Juab was keeping pace with the Templars, 18-18, and the Wasps stayed within reach at halftime, 36-30. But Manti came out firing after the half and poured 22 points onto the scoreboard, leading by as much as 18 points at different points in the game.
Second-half defense played a big part, Shakespear said, as the Templars clamped down on the perimeter and rebounding.
Against Millard, Manti fell behind by 9 points after only 4 minutes of play. But then they settled down and began to dominate once more. Just like before, Manti burned the roof down in the third quarter to the tune of 25 points to take a 16-point lead into the final 8 minutes that the Eagles could not overcome.
“After a few early injuries, we are healthy, and our depth really helps us against teams like Millard who only play six or seven guys,” Shakespear said. “Our rebounding and transition are improving; now we just have to be quicker on the flight of the ball.”
Next week, a rivalry awaits. On Tuesday, the Templars head to Gunnison to take on the Bulldogs, followed by a heavyweight road matchup against South Summit. They will participate in the Coach Walker Memorial Holiday Classic at Pine View High School in St. George the week after.