Girls basketball returns to winning despite injury

Micheal Simmons, Blue M Editor-in-Chief

Losing a game or a player is difficult but the Manhattan High girls basketball team (7-3, 5-2)  rebounded from both situations last week as they beat Emporia and Highland Park, 54-23 and 53-32.

“I definitely think that after a loss teams learn something about themselves,” senior Haleigh Harper said. “In these two cases we learned that we still have things to work on such as shutting down key players and working for a great shot and not just a good shot.”

Before winning their past two games, MHS suffered their first and second Centennial League losses, losing to Washburn Rural and Topeka High, 37-49 and 48-50. After these losses the team was eager to get back to winning.

“It felt like a team,” senior Garrin Williams said. “We are definitely done losing and want to get better everyday…. It feels great to win but it is even better when you know your hard work is paying off.”

The team got off to a slow start, losing starting senior Taylor Johnson due to an injury and ending the first quarter 10-10. With the team down a starter, multiple underclassmen stepped in and allowed the team to end the half 25-18.

“It didn’t feel like we were dominating [Highland Park] at the beginning,” senior Kia Wilson said. “We talked at halftime about how we need to be more under control and taking good shots.”

Wilson lead the team in scoring by putting up 16 and Harper followed with 15, nine of which came from the field. From this point on the MHS game plan was unbeatable.

“We planned to stop their three main scorers and help each other defensively,” Williams said. “We definitely worked the ball better, which gave us better shots and that was different from when we lost because then we didn’t work the ball as well and we did not help each other defensively.”

The team outscored Highland Park 15-5 in the third quarter, leaving one quarter left to play with MHS up 40-23. The team would keep the lead through the fourth and celebrate their second win in a row.

The team will strive for a third as they play Topeka West on Friday at home.