Girls basketball falls twice away

Julianna Poe, Sports Editor

Traveling to both games this week, the Manhattan High girls basketball team went head-to-head with two top-seeded schools, Topeka High and Washburn Rural. 

“I think we had some struggles, but we definitely learned a lot about ourselves in th[o]se two games,” senior Aloera Ostermann said. “I’m proud of our effort in both games and I thought we played hard even though we didn’t come out on top.”

On Tuesday, the Indians stepped onto the Junior Blues’ court. Back in early January, Washburn defeated Manhattan — the first home game loss for the Indians — by 12 points, going 53-41. At the time, Washburn and Manhattan had a win percentage of 67%. By Tuesday, the Junior Blues had achieved 75%, whereas the Indians had dropped to 50%.

“We [were] excited,” freshman Destiny Yates said. “We had a lot of hope that were going to come out strong and put up a good fight.”

Manhattan did put up a fight but couldn’t come out on top due to several turnovers. The game ended similarly to their first game, with Washburn winning by just one less point than before, along with a score of 51-40.

“We are really struggling to stay together and play as a team,” senior Jaiden Wexielman said. “But we’ve done a better job of trying to keep our energy up.”

Friday night, the Indians played the Trojans, who had an 18-game win streak with zero losses on their record. Last time the girls played Topeka High, the Trojans proceeded to knock the Indians off their feet, winning with a score of 66-44.

“We knew what we had to do and we knew who we were up against,” Yates said. “We just [all] kn[e]w we had to execute well.”

In addition to turnovers, the girls struggled to follow through with head coach Scott Mall’s pointers, allowing Topeka High to blow Manhattan out of the water. By the buzz of the fourth quarter, the Trojans had won by 36 points — the largest lead any team has had over the Indians all season — compared to Topeka High’s previous 22-point lead win.

“The game doesn’t stop until it’s completely over,” Ostermann said. “It’s just playing with heart and hustle and just finishing out the game even though you know you’re going to lose. It’s … about [the] effort at that point and how you carry yourself off the court.”

This week, the Indians have two home games, one of which is a rescheduled game. Tonight, the girls will play Emporia on senior night and on Friday will go against Highland Park.