Templars post two wins in preseason
MANTI—The Manti boys basketball team got a pair of key wins last week.
First was an 87-64 shellacking of Maeser Prep on Wednesday Dec 7. The Templars wrapped up the week on Friday with a hard-fought victory over in-county rival North Sanpete 76-68.
Against the Lions, Manti nearly doubled the score in the first half to go ahead 61-34 and then coasted to the final 23-point win.
The Templars had 13 players in the scoring column with three in double figures.
Mac Stevens led the Templars with 17 points. Riley Curtis had 14, 12 from three-point range. Corbin Linam added 12 points, Dylan Wathen and Matt Nelson had nine each, Kole Brailsford had six, Brenton Thomson added five, Tanner Rasmussen and Mason Thompson had four each, Brody Barson hit a three, Kade Nicholes had two while Sam Benson and Jace Miller each hit a free throw.
The North Sanpete game was a hard fought, up-tempo game from the opening tipoff. Manti opened the game with a three-pointer from Benson, followed by back-to-back North Sanpete turnovers. Manti earned a five-point lead after the first eight minutes, but the Hawks narrowed that margin to five at the half.
Shawn Taylor came to life in the second half for North Sanpete, using his quickness to get into the paint for layups or to draw the foul. Taylor had 17 second-half points on his way to a game-high 22. 14 of his point were from the charity stripe.
Perhaps his key drive of the game came at the 41-second mark in the final quarter. With his team trailing by seven, Taylor drove baseline, weaving between two Manti defenders, drawing contact and getting the roll to put the ball in the basket.
A whistle had Hawk fans expecting the bucket to count and Taylor to shoot a free throw, pulling North Sanpete within four. The call went Manti’s way as Taylor was assessed a charging foul.
Still trailing by seven with seconds left to play, North Sanpete went to the foul and the Templars hit enough free throws to earn the eight-point win.
Taylor led all scorers with his 22 points. Spencer Steadman had 11 for the Hawks, Tanner Morley was also in double figures with ten, Joseph Garlick had six, Justice Green added five, Brock Bailey and Jalen Sorenson had four each and Ignacio Vazquez joined Kaleb Bailey with three each.
For the Templars, Nelson came off the bench to lead his team with 15 points; Stevens had 14 and Rasmussen was the third Templar in double figures with ten. Wathen had nine, Nicholes and Benson joined Linam with seven each, Brailsford had three and Thomson had two.
This week, Manti will make the trip to sunny St. George to participate in the Coach Walker Classic at Dixie State University.
The Templars will be taking on three tough southern Utah teams. First up, today will be Hurricane with tip-off scheduled for 5 p.m. Tomorrow the Templars will take on Dixie at 5 p.m., and their Saturday game will be against Desert Hills beginning at 2:30 p.m.
The following week, Manti will be at Richfield on Dec. 21, and then they will wrap up 2016 with another road trip, this one to the icy regions of northern Utah to take on South Summit.