MANTI—The last few seasons saw a consistent flow of senior talent for the Manti boys’ basketball team, and it led to several deep playoff runs.
This season, the Templars won’t look so seasoned. Manti enters the 2021-22 season having graduated the entire starting lineup from last season, and they’ll only have three returning seniors in Cameron Sterner, Ashton Swenson and Dylan Christensen.
The Templars don’t currently have an established starting lineup, Coach Devin Shakespear said. “We’ll be very young, and we’ll play very young,” he said.
Manti’s last season ended with an 18-7 overall record and a quarterfinal loss to Judge Memorial. The most notable departure from last year’s squad is three-year starter Grady Thompson, who scored over 1,000 points in a Manti uniform over his four years and won two championships. Absent his leadership, Shakespear said no one really stepped into that role for the Templars in the new season.
Manti’s three seniors combined for all of 1.46 points per game last season in very few minutes. The junior class will be counted on to make an impact as junior Kayson Douglas and Larsen Pogroszewski return to the lineup.
Prior to region play, these young players will be heavily tested as the Templars participate in three different non-region tournaments. After facing Morgan and Richfield in the Central Utah Preview in Richfield, they’ll host a tournament of their own with the I4 Media Invitational, playing Ogden and South Summit. Their toughest test will be the Coach Walker Holiday Memorial Classic, where they’ll take 4A powers Hurricane, Desert Hills, and Dixie.
Manti’s season begins with a road game against South Sevier next Tuesday.