Templars take down Bulldogs
72-45, then Juab Wasps 68-59
By James Tilson
Dec. 14, 2017
MANTI—Using its signature stifling trapping defense to key its victories, the Manti High School Templars boys basketball team rang up two victories last week over local rivals Gunnison Valley High School, 72-45, and Juab High School, 68-59.
Last Wednesday, Dec. 6, the Templars jumped out to an early lead against the Bulldogs and never looked back.
Using its pressure defense, Manti forced multiple Gunnison turnovers and took an 8-0 lead.
After a few minutes, the Bulldogs began to figure out the press but could never get a run started. At the end of the first quarter, Manti was ahead by 10 (19-9) and by halftime led by 15 (40-25).
In the second half, the Bulldogs could never stop the Templars, and Manti cruised the rest of the way to a 72-45 victory.
Matt Nelson led the Templars with 20 points, and Travis Thompson had six assists. Tim Stewart led the Bulldogs with 17 points.
Against Juab on Friday, Dec. 8, Manti had to play from behind for most of this game, as the Templars started cold. Juab took a 19-5 lead in the first quarter before Manti switched to a trapping zone defense to slow down the Wasps.
The Templars slowly climbed back into the game and were only down 26-31 at halftime.
Timely rebounding and scoring by Tanner Rasmussen sparked the Templar comeback, and midway through the third quarter the Templars took the lead for the first time, 45-40.
In the fourth quarter, the Templars nearly shut down the Wasp offense for long stretches of time, at one point extending their lead by 15 points to 57-42.
After that, the Templars cruised home for the 68-59 victory.
Rasmussen led the Templars with 13 points and nine rebounds, and Dylan Wathen had five assists. The Templars also were hot from three-point land, shooting 40 percent for the game.
Today Manti plays against Snow Canyon High School at the Coach Walker Classic Tournament held at Dixie State University in St. George.
The Templars play Hurricane High School on Friday at 3 p.m. and Green Canyon High School on Saturday at 8 a.m., both games part of the Coach Walker Classic.