Buzzerbeater champions

Julianna Poe, Trending Editor

In a game to remember, the Manhattan High Varsity girls basketball team defeated Hayden High in a game-buzzer win 48-47 on Friday night.

“It was great,” junior Grace Dixon said. “It was a good comeback in the fourth quarter because we were down like seven [points] with 30 seconds.”

Throughout the game, the team experienced a lot of foul trouble, with a total of 22 fouls. Sophomores Destiny Yates and Avery Larson acquired three fouls each early on, allowing many of the other girls minutes in the game. 

“I think if we had our guards in, … I think our defense would have been better,” Dixon said. “[I think] we wouldn’t have been down at the end. I think we would have been up because we started playing with four forwards and … forwards can’t really handle the ball, … but I think we did well without two of our really good guards playing a lot of the time.”

Freshman Maxine Doering made a notable appearance, contributing to several key plays. All together, 10 players helped to drive the team to their win.

“Even if … something like that were to happen, you know people that are going to step up and play those roles,” Larson said. “It feels really good to know that you have those players that you can rely on.” 

Similar to their season opener, MHS powered through a back-and-forth game. There were a total of eight lead changes and seven ties, four of those ties in the third quarter alone.

“I think if we … put more shots in the basket, … it wouldn’t have been so back-and-forth,” Dixon said. “[Same with] if we didn’t get in foul trouble and [improved] defense with number 11 [on Hayden, who] was getting the ball [and] scoring a lot.”

Early in quarter four, Hayden gained a lead of nine points. Seniors Taylor Claussen and Gillian Awbrey along with Dixon managed to close the gap to two points, but with less than a minute left Hayden stretched their lead back up to six. 

“We didn’t have a set plan,” Larson said. “Our main goal was to just play solid defense, slow them down, get some stops in, get some shots to go in the basket … The whole goal was just to … find the upper players and give it to them.”

Junior Brooke Newcomer put in a free throw, then with around 10 seconds left, Claussen hit a three. In the next play, Claussen was quickly fouled and Hayden missed both free throws. MHS proceeded to swiftly move the ball down the court, passing it to Larson, who sank the game-winning three. 

“It was a really cool moment because … we’d got down pretty big in the fourth quarter, so … it was just really fun as a team to have that together,” Larson said. “I’d just like to say: Grace and Taylor and a bunch of other people stepped up and really had [a] great game. Everybody contributed, everybody was working hard. As a team, it was just a really great game.” 

Claussen, Larson and Dixon contributed to 75 % of the team’s total score, each collecting two three-pointers. Dixon alone added 18 points, with 12 in the first half.

“I was glad I got … to put those threes in and help the team get up pretty good in the first quarter,” Dixon said. “In the post area, I think I scored really well too there, so yeah, it was a great game.”

Coming off their win against Hayden, the team plans to work on offense, defense and fouling.

“I think [we need to work on] finishing outside for guards [and] just putting the ball in the basket,” Dixon said. “[Also] not getting in foul trouble, so working on not trying to foul as much, even … talking back to the refs like some of our players did … On defense, we need to step up and not let guards just drive by and be in help.”

Today, the girls will be facing Manhattan High rival Junction City at home at 6 p.m.

“We’re getting really excited,” Larson said. “We’re ready. [Junction City] is our rival, so we’re pretty excited.”

“It was obviously pretty rough. Everybody was … getting pretty frustrated but I think there’s lots of people and … younger players that really stepped up and helped the team get back into a rhythm of things and so I feel like that really helped us get going.” – Larson


“It was good … I’m glad Maxine stepped up a lot in this game, Taylor stepped up a lot, a lot of younger players are just stepping up a lot and really helping the team out.” — Dixon