Indians place third at Tournament of Champions

Cole Schmitt, Social Media Manager


The Manhattan High boys basketball team took third place at Dodge City in the Tournament of Champions. 

They defeated Maize in the quarterfinal, 62-34, fell to Bishop Miege in the semifinal, 45-58, and then took down Shawnee Heights in the third place game 63-48.
“This week we did a better job of rebounding the ball for the most part,” senior Peyton Weixelman said. “We talk about winning the boards and getting extra possessions and we did that. We took a lot of positives away from our finish to the week, but the it factor for us is going to be competing for a whole 32 minutes every night.”

Weixelman was referring to the Bishop Miege game where the Tribe fell in the last quarter getting outscored 19-4 by their opponents. The difference in that run, according to head coach Benji George, was Miege going to a zone in the game. He says running the offense through a zone will have to be worked on before Topeka West this week.

“We just got a little bit tight against their zone,” George said. “Our shot selection was spotty and we weren’t playing with a lot of certainty against their zone. I think fatigue was a huge factor too. Chandler [Marks] and Peyton had three fouls in the first half and we just couldn’t substitute the way we normally had been.”

After this week the Tribe has two losses and nine wins, more wins than they had last year, and there are still at least eight games to play. The difference from last year to this year? Experience, George says.

“The players are a year older,” George said. “I think experience helps and they have persevered together and struggled together and now there striving together. It’s really one of the joys of my coaching career to be along with them for the ride.”

The third place award in the tournament was not the only award. The Indians earned five other awards besides that. Senior Antonio Barron was awarded All-TOC Academic Team. Senior Raeshon Riddick was awarded to the All-TOC team. Senior Mitch Munsen received the TOC Player Sportsmanship Award. Weixelman took second place in the tournament free throw contest, and the whole entire team and staff of Indian boys basketball received the TOC Team Sportsmanship Award.

Coach George was very pleased with the recognition. He said he believes the players didn’t receive the awards for being the best player or tucking your shirt in and high fiving at the end of the game, rather than for always playing hard and being a good teammate. He was proud of how engaged not only the players on the court but also on the bench for being so engaged and into the game every single second.

The Indians will be back in action tomorrow at Topeka West, before returning home next Monday to play their make-up game against Topeka High.