Girls basketball wins two at home

Julianna Poe, Sports Editor

After two games on home court this week, the Manhattan High girls basketball team reigns victorious after defeating both the Emporia Spartans and the Highland Park Scots.

“I thought we came out with a lot better energy,” head coach Scott Mall said. “I thought we just came out a lot more aggressive, [with] a lot more movement [and] a lot more just intense play on both ends of the floor.”

By the end of Tuesday night’s game against the Spartans, junior Jaiden Weixelman and senior Aloera Ostermann had contributed to seven total three-point baskets, — five from Ostermann — which contributed to 49% of Manhattan’s winning score of 43-25.

“It always feels really good,” Ostermann said. “I hadn’t really been scoring that many threes this season and had kind of been having a rough-shooting few games.”

While the Emporia game was senior night, due to a snow day back in January, the girls were back on the court on Friday to play Highland Park. Before tipoff, senior Zanaa Cordis was nominated as this year’s McDonald’s All-American girls basketball player. 

“It feels really good,” Cordis said. “All the hard work finally paid off, so it feels good to get a little bit of recognition.”

Cordis proceeded to collect 26 field points — 13 baskets — from start to finish that night, 10 of those points in quarter one alone. Ostermann had a night of three-pointers once again, putting in three altogether. By the end of the first half, the Indians led by 12 points, going 33-21.

“I feel like we performed overall very well,” Cordis said. “In the second half they did come back, we weren’t expecting that. We lost our focus a little bit, but overall we fought.”

It wasn’t until quarter four that the Scots had closed the gap to just a one-point difference, having made three two-pointers in 15 seconds with a minute and a half left in the quarter.

“They were real aggressive on the ball,” Mall said. “It’s hard in that situation [when you] keep thinking ‘I got to get it in early, I got to get it in early.’”

Manhattan held Highland Park to zero additional points for the rest of the quarter. With 10 seconds left until the buzzer, Weixelman put in two free throws, putting the Indians up by three and winning the game 51-48.

“Overall, [I had to remember] it’s not for me,” Weixelman said. “I just had to get out of my head and really just know that I’ve shot this shot 1,000 times, I’ve made it 1,000 times and this isn’t any different.”

Manhattan will play their first conference game against Wichita South East tonight away.

“It’s definitely surreal,” Ostermann said. “It’s weird to feel like it might be almost over. There’s definitely a lot we can do to extend our season and so that’s definitely the plan. But for now, it’s just surreal that it’s already here and now high school ball is almost over.”