It’s not often that a team more than triples their opponent’s score, but Manhattan High was able to do just that as they blew out Topeka West 48-15. The team never lost the lead, nor did they even come close to doing so as the score at halftime was 40-9.
This is the first time that MHS was able to hold their opponent to single-digit scoring until the second half, thanks to their defense complimenting their offense.
“I thought we played really good defense,” head coach Scott Mall said. “It worked out pretty well that our two big girls matched up with their two big girls who also happen to be their leading scorers. The team did a really good job defensively because we were able to stop their two big girls from scoring at all.”
The team had plenty of help from the bench, with two-thirds of the team’s total points coming from underclassmen. Sophomore Jaiden Weixelman led the pack for the team and underclassmen scoring a season and career-high 13 points. Fellow sophomore Zanaa Cordis was not far behind her with eight points.
“I thought our bench really stepped up and helped us out a lot,” Mall said. “Weixelman came in [and] played really well and Cordis coming up and starting due to an injury and did a good job. [Sophomore] Taylor Clausen had one of her best Varsity games so far along with [sophomore] Gabby Martinez. We are going to need all…of those kids come later this season so it was really nice to see that this game.”
Although the team won by a landslide, there was still a downside to the win, they did it minus a two-year starter. Senior Taylor Johnson left the Highland Park game with an injury to her foot and has not returned.
“I love to be out there playing so it was hard to have to sit out,” Johnson said. “It was more important to focus on cheering on my team since I couldn’t play. I am very excited to return but I want to make sure that I am smart about it so I don’t injure myself again or cause this injury to continue.”
The team will play at the McPherson tournament beginning on Thursday and lasting until Saturday, assuming they win on Thursday and Friday.
“It’s a really tough tournament,” Mall said. “We are tied for the fifth or fourth seed and we open with Wellington which is a really good team and then we play Olathe South in the second round who is one of the few undefeated 6A teams left.”