Boys basketball MIT Champs

Cole Schmitt, Online Editor-in-Chief

For the first time since 2008, and third time ever, Manhattan High boys basketball came out as champions of the annual McPherson Invitational Tournament (MIT). The Indians outlasted Shawnee Heights in the championship game from a powerful second half.

“I think our game planning was very good,” sophomore Cameron Carr said. “The way our team just bonded the whole tournament was great.”

The Indians first beat McPherson on their home court 61-53, thanks to a double-double from senior Owen Braxmeyer and 14 points from Carr. They were then supposed to play Maize South on Thursday, but the Mavericks were forced to stay home for the rest of the week due to COVID protocols. That put them in the championship game with former league foe Shawnee Heights.

The Indians struggled early in the game and were once down by 10, but strong performances from the majority of the team led the Indians to outlast the Thunderbirds, largely due to outsourcing them 22-7 in the third quarter alone.

Braxmeyer, Carr and junior Cade Perkins all put up double digits. Sophomore Jack Wilson had himself a night as well stacking up eight points and nine rebounds off the bench.

“Before the game we knew that they were going to be playing zone defense for the majority of the game, so we just found that attacking the middle of the defense would get us open shots and layups,” Perkins said. “As a team we did a great job rebounding, and giving ourselves plenty of second chances on offense.”

Carr and Braxmeyer were awarded to the All-Tournament team, while Braxmeyer was also awarded as the Most Valuable Player of the week. 

Braxmeyer and Carr have been putting up double digits for the majority of the Indians’ games this year, and don’t look like they are stopping anytime soon. Carr says they feed off each other and love playing together.

“Me and Owen both play to each other’s strengths,” Carr said. “If he needs help on the offensive side I go to work and we just alternate.”

The team will go back to work this week with a heavy-filled schedule once again. They’ll host Highland Park on Tuesday and Seaman on Thursday, and then travel to Washburn on Saturday.