RICHFIELD—The Templars couldn’t be kept down for long.
The Manti boys’ basketball team looked impressive on both ends of the card as they went 1-1 in the Central Utah Basketball Preview last weekend, starting with a frustrating loss to Morgan, 68-64, on Friday, and ending with a solid win over Richfield, 62-54 on Saturday.
Manti moved to 2-1 on the season.
“With a couple tough games, it was a good opportunity for us to continue building an identity,” Coach Devin Shakespear said. “I am excited with our growth so far, and we have another couple good games this weekend.”
The Templars’ stellar junior class continued to overachieve. Manti’s seniors combined to score only five points between the two games.
Against Morgan, the Templars got off to a great start as they went on an early 9-0 run to get an 11-2 lead. The Trojans then turned their efforts to getting to the free throw line. Morgan held a blistering advantage in this statistic, scoring nearly half their offense at the line and hitting 29 out of 35 free throw attempts, an 82 percent clip.
Late in the fourth quarter, Morgan held a nine-point lead, and Manti trimmed the lead to two points within the final 10 seconds after a tip-in off a free throw, but Morgan comfortably sank their ensuing free throws to salt the game away.
In his first game scoring a point in varsity, junior Christian Hansen led the team in scoring with 17 points, while junior Kayson Douglas and sophomore Reggie Frischknecht each scored 14 points. The Templars struggled to hit 3-pointers in the game despite an overall great shooting night at 56 percent from the field while hitting 11 of 19 free throw attempts.
Against Richfield, Manti once again got out to an early lead, leading 16-12 at the end of the first quarter, but the Wildcats got the jump on the Templars in the second quarter, holding them to eight points and jumping out to a 30-24 halftime lead.
After halftime, Manti took its turn to clamp down, to the tune of a 22-6 third quarter run to secure the lead for good.
The Templars shot 52 percent from the field and made eight 3-pointers. Frischknecht led the team in scoring with 17 points. Douglas had 15, including four 3-pointers. Junior Larsen Pogroszewski chipped in 10 points.
Manti will play host to their own tournament, the Manti I-Four Invitational, this weekend. They play Ogden on Friday and South Summit on Saturday.