Girls basketball takes second in season-opening tournament

Micheal Simmons, Blue M Editor-In-Chief

Manhattan High girls basketball ended their season-opening tournament just 12 points shy of beating Saint Thomas Aquinas leaving them in second place with a record of 2-1.

“The keys to the game were that Aquinas hit 4-3’s in the first half,” head coach Scott Mall said. “They hadn’t really shot 3’s well in the tournament. Particularly in the second half, our girls really worked to get good shots against a tough defense but couldn’t get enough of them to go down. We got shots that we would normally shoot well but they just wouldn’t go in consistently. We were definitely led by our four seniors.”

The Manhattan High Lady Indians were familiar with Aquinas during their season-opener, as MHS lost to Aquinas in the semi finals of their previous season. Despite the loss(36-48), the team found a silver lining.

“Coach Julie Ostermann said it best after the game: ‘you win or you learn,” Haleigh Harper said. “I think this early loss is the one of the best things that could’ve happened to the this team. We know what we need to work on and we will continue to work hard and get better. This weekend didn’t turnout how many of us wanted it to but I am so excited to start our league games this week and believe we can find a lot of success this year.”

The four seniors — Harper, Kia Wilson, Taylor Johnson and Garrin Williams — led the team to the first two wins of the season against Thomas More Prep-Marian (53-32) and Hays (49-39). The seniors were responsible for 86 percent of the team’s points throughout the tournament, with Wilson leading the pack, averaging 16 points per game and scoring double figures in all three games.  

“I think leadership is huge this year considering our team is very young,” Harper said. “With four returning Varsity players as seniors this year we have a leadership advantage and I am super excited to see the things we can achieve with that. I expect a lot of this team this year. We have to take full advantage of the opportunities we get and never take anything for granted. We have an excellent coaching staff and it’s really up to us to get where we want to be…”

The team will have  their home season-opener as well as begin league play on Friday against Seamen (0-0).