Templars improve seeding with
wins over Wildcats, Spartans
By James Tilson
Feb. 8, 2018
MANTI—In a “big week” for Templar boys basketball, Manti went 2-0 with victories over Richfield and Emery to improve to 6-4 in Region 15, 14-6 overall, giving a big boost to their playoff hopes.
In the home game on Wednesday, Jan. 31, the Templars outscored the Wildcats 43-26 in the first half, and it looked as if Manti had the game well in hand.
But the Wildcats came roaring back with a 24-point third quarter to close within two points, 52-50.
Then Matt Nelson put the Templars on his back and started out the quarter hitting three of his seven three-pointers for the night, and Manti had their own 24-point quarter to win 76-64.
Manti’s coach, Devin Shakespear, said, “In the third, we gave them a few open shots, and they got hot going 6-8 from three[-point range]. In the fourth, we adjusted and refocused defensively, while hitting some big shots to regain control.”
Nelson led the Templars with 28 points, and both teams had 11 three-pointers.
In yet another tough Region 15 battle, the Templars out-dueled the Spartans in an away game on Friday, Feb. 2, to earn the 76-71 victory.
“The game was a battle back and forth the entire game,” according to Shakespear, who credited a team effort for the victory, including the nonstarters
.Manti was up by seven at the end of the first quarter, up by three at halftime and even at the end of the third quarter. The final quarter was the real showdown.
“In the fourth quarter, our depth allowed us to be aggressive defensively and create some separation down the stretch,” said Shakespear.
Nelson had another big night, scoring 31 points, including six three-pointers.
The Templars had 13 threes, and the Spartans had a dozen.
This week, the Templars finish the regular season with two home games. Yesterday, the Templars hosted the region-leading Rams of South Sevier. Tomorrow, the Templars welcome cross-county rivals—the Hawks of North Sanpete—at 7 p.m. for the season finale.