Templars fight hard but fall to 2A top-ranked team at home, 68-60
MANTI—Friday, Jan. 27 saw the top-ranked team in 2A basketball visit the Templar home floor and, after a harrowing clash, came away with a 68-60 win against Manti.
The Emery Spartans controlled the first half of play but saw their 16 point halftime lead dwindle to as few as three in the final minutes of the game. Still, Manti was unable to close the gap and came up short by eight in the end.
Matt Nelson opened the second half with a pair of layups and then joined Riley Curtis in lighting things up from three-point range. The pair combined for 15 third period points as the Templars outscored the Spartans 25-17.
Having cut the Emery lead to eight, outside shooting forced the Spartans to play honest defense and opened things up in the paint for Corbin Linam.
With just over a minute left in the game, Mac Stevens hit a bucket to cut the Emery lead to three at 63-60. Unfortunately, they would be the last Templar points, and the Spartans hit their free throws to go on for the eight-point win.
Nelson Led the Templars with 16 points, 12 from three-point range. Curtis had all 12 of his points from behind the arc. Dylan Wathen had nine, as did Linam. Stevens added eight, Tanner Rasmussen had four and Sam Benson had two.
This week the Templars will be on the road. First was yesterday at Grand. Results of the game were not available at press time. The Templars lost to Grand by six in Manti on Jan. 11. A win in Moab could be instrumental in the Templars overtaking Grand in the region standings.
Manti will then travel to Gunnison on Friday. Earlier this year Manti beat the Bulldogs by 21 points.