Templars drops game against Moab, 62-55
MOAB—Last week was a tough one for the Manti boy’s basketball team.
On Wednesday, Feb.1, the Templars traveled to Moab to take on Grand. The Red Devils had a big third quarter to pull ahead and hold on for the 62-55 win. Friday, Feb. 3 saw the Templars in Gunnison (see related story) where they struggled from the free throw line in their loss to Gunnison by an almost identical score of 61-55.
The game against Grand was a brutally physical one in which the Templars held a 32-30 lead at the half. Grand took control of the third quarter to go ahead 51-42 going into the final period. Manti shaved two points off that lead but still came up seven short.
Matt Nelson led the Templars with 14 points, Tanner Rasmussen had 13, Dylan Wathen added eight, and Riley Curtis had six on a pair of threes. Mac Stevens also had six points. Corbin Linam, Kade Nicholes, Kole Brailsford and Sam Benson had two each.
The two losses have put Manti in a precarious playoff position. They could clinch a playoff berth, or tie with Gunnison for the final playoff spot. The Bulldogs only have one game left in their season, a road game at North Sevier tomorrow. The Wolves have yet to win a region game, and the last time these two teams met, the Bulldogs won it easily, 52-42.
Manti still has two league games on their schedule. The Templars hosted North Sevier on yesterday. Results of that game were not available at press time. Manti beat the Wolves in Salina, 85-59. Manti will then host San Juan tomorrow in the final game of the regular season.
The Broncos had been holding a solid second place in region play and were ranked number two in the state last week. On Friday, Grand shocked the Broncos in Blanding using a huge first quarter to upset San Juan, 73-68.
If Manti can beat both North Sevier and San Juan, they will claim the number four seed in Region 15 and advance to the play-in game in Orem on Feb. 18. Their opponent would be the top seed from Region 14, most likely Layton Christian or Waterford.
If Manti wins one of their final two games, they will likely finish the regular season in a tie with Gunnison, forcing a play-in game to determine which of these two teams would advance to the game in Orem.