Templars start well but fall short in all three matches at Walker Classic in St. George
By Bob Bahlmann
ST. GEORGE—Last weekend saw the Manti boys varsity basketball team taking a trio of losses against 3A schools at the Coach Walker Classic in St. George.
The Templars started things off well at the tournament against Hurricane on Thursday, Dec. 15, jumping out to an early lead but losing to the Tigers 72-55.
Friday saw the Templars drop a 64-57 game to Dixie and then Saturday it was Desert Hills defeating Manti 71-56.
Against the Tigers, the first half was a battle with five lead changes. Manti led early 10-4 and held a 31-27 lead at the half, but Hurricane came out strong. Getting a three-point play the old fashioned way, Hurricane took the lead 32-31 and never trailed again in the game. The Tigers led by as much as 22 in the second half and held on for the win.
The next day, the Templars again started strong, forcing Dixie turnovers that earned Manti a 5-0 lead. The Fliers went on a 14-4 run to go ahead 22-11 and built on their 31-19 halftime lead with another run, this one 7-0.
The Templars fought back and at one time pulled to within one point at 48-47, but the Fliers closed out the game outscoring Manti 16-10 for the win.
Dylan Wathen led Manti with 15 points; Mac Stevens added 12. Tanner Rasmussen and Brody Barson had nine each, and Corbin Linam had eight. Kade Nicholes and Sam Benson rounded out the scoring with two each. Linam and Rasmussen each hit a pair of threes and Stevens had one.
The final game of the weekend against Desert Hills was a run away for the Thunder. Desert Hills led 22-9 after the first eight minutes, but the Templars cut into that lead to trail 35-30. Desert Hills owned the second half to finish the game with a 15-point margin.
Benson improved on his two-point game against Dixie to led all scorers with 21 points, six from behind the arc. Linam had 14 and Rasmussen was the third Templar in double figures with ten. Stevens hit a three on his way to seven points. Wathen had three, and Riley Curtis hit a free throw.
This week the Templars traveled to Richfield yesterday (score unavailable). The Wildcats recently took on the same three St. George schools. They lost to Hurricane 52-49, Desert Hills 51-45 and Dixie 52-29.