Templars’ 68-48 win over ALA moves them to second
round of playoffs
By Matt Harris
MANTI—After seeing Manti make 3-pointers last Friday, perhaps the only thing American Leadership Academy coaches could do was prepare for a really good postgame handshake.
Manti boys’ basketball team started off their run in the 3A State Championship tournament in true Templar style, shooting a blistering 56 percent from the 3-point line in a 68-48 blowout of ALA in the second round of the playoffs.
The Templars secured a trip to the quarterfinals against No. 6 Judge Memorial for this Thursday as the playoffs now move to the Sevier Valley Center in Richfield. Manti has made it as far as the quarterfinals for the fourth straight year. They have made it every year since moving up to 3A from 2A in 2017.
Senior Tate Quarnberg was unreal, making five out of five from 3-point land and leading all scorers with a career-high 19 points. Senior Tanner Justesen buried three more 3’s and scored 17 points, while senior Grady Thompson manned the paint and put in 15 points.
Quarnberg’s career-high equaled the scoring output of his entire junior year, according to stats provided by Deseret News.
The Templars were a net positive on assists to turnovers, dishing 21 assists to 18 turnovers. They also recorded 10 steals and outrebounded the Eagles, 23-18.
It was actually ALA that got on the board first with a quick layup, but Quarnberg got going early, hitting a baseline 3-pointer for Manti’s first points. While the Eagles pounded the ball inside, Manti caught fire from beyond the arc, hitting four of their first five attempts. Both teams traded baskets in the first five minutes before the Templars broke away with an 8-0 run.
Senior Trace Boggess scared fans for a moment when he took incidental contact to his face midway through the second quarter. Boggess sat for the remainder of the first half but would return in the second half and lead the team in assists with seven.
Quarnberg hit his fourth 3-pointer early in the second quarter, and a subsequent layup by senior Austin Cox gave Manti their first double-digit lead. Both teams again began trading baskets before Manti took control in the final two minutes of the half with another 8-0 run for an 18-point halftime lead, 37-19.
Quarnberg’s fifth 3-pointer, the only one not from the baseline, came with just over two minutes remaining in the third quarter, giving Manti a 23-point lead as the Templars never looked back.
Manti’s overall record moved to 17-5. The Templars recorded their first 20-point playoff win since joining 3A and the first since beating Rockwell School 71-50 in 2015.