Templars win two out of three in St. George Coach Walker Classic
By James Tilson
Dec. 21, 2017
ST. GEORGE—The Manti High Templars boys basketball team traveled to St. George to play in the three-day Coach Walker Classic at Dixie State University and went 2-1 for the tournament, and the loss was by two points.
In their first game on Thursday, Dec. 14, the Templars faced the 4A Snow Canyon Warriors and couldn’t overcome a strong game by Joey Robertson (28 points) and Bryson Childs (14 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists) to eventually fall 58-56.
Manti’s coach, Devin Shakespear, said, “We had chances to win but did not knock down our free throws down the stretch.”
Matt Nelson led the Templars with 20 points and seven rebounds.
On Friday, Dec. 15, the Templars put in one of their stranger performances of the year against Hurricane.
The Templars scored no points in the second quarter but then rallied to score 20 points in the third and 24 in the fourth to achieve a decisive 58-44 victory.
Manti’s Nelson led the way again with 25 points and seven rebounds.
In their last game of the tournament against Green Canyon on Saturday, Dec. 16, the Templars turned in their most balanced performance.
Coach Shakespear summarized the Templars’ 70-62 victory: “We had five guys, and almost six, in double figures, 21 assists as a team, and played good perimeter defense, and our offense was very efficient.”
Manti’s Tanner Rasmussen had 13 points, Kade Nicholes put in 12, Dylan Wathen scored 11, Kole Brailsford and Nelson both made 10 and Adam Huff pitched in nine points.
Coach Shakespear pointed to the experience his various teams gained in the tournament: “We played 12 games over the weekend between freshman, sophomore, junior varsity and varsity all versus 4A teams. We won nine of our 12 games and had three overtime games to help the boys learn how to finish close games. The tournament was a great learning experience, and I was pleased with how we performed.”
Yesterday the Templars hosted South Summit High (score unavailable) and then travel to Salina to play North Sevier High on Dec. 29.