Templars take region with no losses,
are No. 1 seed in the state
By Matt Harris
MANTI—The first chapter is sealed, and now the Templars prepare for what is hoped to be an epic act two.
The Manti boys’ basketball team completed their regular season of dominance by winning their last two games, 83-75 against Delta and 75-33 against North Sanpete, to finish an undefeated season in region play, claim the Region 14 title, and finish 21-1 overall.
It was good enough to land Manti the No. 1 seed in the 3A state tournament.
“This group has earned the opportunity to be the No. 1 seed,” Coach Devin Shakespear said. “I am very proud of their daily efforts to improve. They play the game the right way by being unselfish, working hard and caring about each other. Moving into the postseason, all records are 0-0, and we need to focus on each game, playing at a high performance and our basketball.”
For North Sanpete, the Hawks finished 7-14 with a 4-8 record in Region 14 play and secured the No. 16 spot in the tournament.
The Templars certainly got Delta’s best shot last week as the Rabbits nearly completed a dramatic comeback effort. The Templars established control early with a 26-12 lead after the first quarter.
Manti continued to extend their advantage going into halftime up by 17, and the game looked to be in hand.
Delta responded in a big way coming out of the locker room in the second half, slowing the Manti offense to only 15 points in the third while catching fire and scoring 27, making an afterthought second half suddenly a 5-point game going into the final frame.
Luckily, the Templars held on and sealed the win.
Manti got a significant advantage in free throws, hitting 19-26 to Delta’s 9-15.
Senior Travis Thomson led the team in scoring with 20 points while senior Conner Christiansen notched a double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds. Seniors Konner Clark and Kevin Clark chipped in 15 and 14 points, respectively.
Against North Sanpete, the Templars spent their senior night with an early shutdown of the outmatched Hawks, going up 26-8 after the first quarter and never letting them get any closer than that.
Senior Jordan Blauer led the team in scoring with 18 points while Thomson and Kevin Clark each scored 14. Junior Grady Thompson backed them up with 11 points. The team combined for 22 assists.
For North Sanpete, senior Trevin Morley led in scoring with 7 points.
The Templars are set for a first-round bye and will face the winner between North Sanpete and Measer Prep this Saturday at 12:50 p.m. at USU-Eastern.