Templars activate trademark defense to defeat Rams, 69-63
MANTI—The Manti boys basketball team opened the season last Tuesday, Nov. 22 with their trademark defensive pressure to defeat the South Sevier Rams 69-63.
Manti got the ball rolling with a three-pointer by Tanner Rasmussen for the first shot of the year and went on an eight-point run before the Rams found the basket.
South Sevier nailed a trio of threes in the closing minutes of the first quarter to stay close but the second saw the Templar defense shut down the Rams for most of the quarter.
With two minutes left in the first half, South Sevier took advantage of a Manti turnover to get their first points from the field in the second quarter.
In the third quarter, Templar turnovers continued to hurt Manti as the Rams scored 10 of their 22 points during those eight minutes of takeaways.
South Sevier held a tenuous 50-48 lead after three quarters of play.
Manti took better care of the ball and found their range from behind the arc in the final minutes to catch the Rams and take their own lead with two minutes left in the game.
A Ram turnover and a steal by Templar Sam Benson with seconds left to play allowed the Templars to build on their lead and win by six.
Manti had eight players in the scoring column with four in double figures. Unofficially, Mac Stevens led the team with 18 points. He was five of five from two-point range and one of two from behind the arc.
Matt Nelson came off the bench to score 12. He had a trio of threes in the second half. Benson had 11 points, Rasmussen had ten, Corbin Linam had seven, Kade Nicholes added five, Kole Brailsford had four and Benton Thompson had two.
As a team, the Templars dominated the boards, pulling down 34 rebounds compared to 15 by the Rams. Manti turned the ball over 21 times in the game while taking it away from the Rams 15 times.
South Sevier got 28 of their 63 points following Templar turnovers.
Manti will need to stay focused since this week they played at Juab on Tuesday (score unavailable) and then will travel to Richfield for the 3A-2A preview.
Manti will take on Pine View tomorrow at 4 p.m. and then Enterprise on Saturday at noon.