ST. GEORGE—The Templars tried their best, but they looked exactly like what they were last week: a 3A team playing 4A teams.
Manti boys’ basketball played tough in the Coach Walker Memorial Classic in St. George from Thursday to Saturday, but a gauntlet of lengthy Washington County 4A teams proved too much for the Templars as they fell in three straight games, losing to Desert Hills, 66-48, then to Hurricane, 50-47, then to Dixie, 60-48.
Prior to the Classic, Manti also dropped a bad loss to visiting Salem Hills last Monday, 77-51, their worst loss since losing by 26 to South Sevier in 2018.
“This weekend was an opportunity to face some good teams to help us identify what it’s going to take to beat and be a tough team,” coach Devin Shakespear said. “Our bigs had a chance to face 6’8”-6’10” [players] all week, and I saw good growth from their defense and finishing vs. good bigs.”
The Templars tried to rally their way over Hurricane midway through the tournament to bring home at least one win from the trip, outscoring the Tigers 18-12 in the fourth quarter, but it wasn’t enough. The Tigers held a 28-19 halftime lead.
“Our guards are learning the importance of ball control and productive decision-making,” Shakespear said. “We are continuing to develop leadership who can lead us through tough stretches in game. It was a good weekend for us to learn and get better from our weaknesses.”
Manti’s record moved to 4-5 overall. They host Millard this Tuesday and will be on the road to take on Gunnison next Wednesday.