Girls basketball wins one, loses one

Julianna Poe, Trending Editor

Over the weekend, the Manhattan High Varsity girls basketball team took home their 25th consecutive win against Junction City and a loss to Emporia.

“I’m glad we got another win for our season and kept the legacy going,” sophomore Paige Chauncey said.

The game against J.C. on Friday started off rocky as the girls struggled to gain a lead. According to senior Taylor Claussen, turnovers, fouls and pacing contributed to a back-and-forth first half.

“Consistently, it’s [the] first quarter [that] we don’t always come out as strong as we need to,” Claussen said. “Sometimes we get in too big of a rush to get things to happen and we turn the ball over, so I feel like that and foul trouble really hurt us at the beginning of the game.”

The second half proved more successful for Manhattan High. According to sophomore Avery Larson, the highlight of the game came from the third quarter when the team pushed ahead with a lead of about 10 points. 

“One thing we did well was we [had] a lot of energy, especially going into the second half,” Larson said. “I felt like we did a good job of taking our time on offense and defense and not trying to rush things.”

At the game buzzer, the girls won with a 12-point lead and a score of 51-39. Not only did this game continue Manhattan High’s win-streak against Junction City, but it also marked their first win since their Highland Park game back on Jan. 14.

“Sometimes it seemed like we weren’t totally in it from the beginning,” Larson said. “We [would] struggle when we would get [into the game]. I think … mindset was most of it … We wanted the wins, obviously as a team, but I think … parts of our game … struggled at points and we just kind of got down on ourselves.”

Chanucey contributed 17 points alone to the win, making her the team’s top scorer of the night.

“I started out the game struggling to finish down low, which is usually my strong suit,” Chauncey said. “I knew I had to step up and play my game. I didn’t know I had 17 until after when I had read it in the newspaper, I just played to win and the [statistics] came with that mentality.”

On Saturday, the girls played Emporia away. The girls couldn’t repeat their game the day before and fell behind as Emporia put in multiple three-pointers. Turnovers, passing to the post and incomplete baskets kept the girls behind.

“We missed a couple [of] easy baskets, which hurt,” Claussen said, “and then just not shutting down their three-point shooters … They had one girl that hadn’t made a single … three-point basket up to this point [who ended] up dropping like three threes.”

In the end, Manhattan High fell to Emporia by 16 points and a score of 48-32.

“I definitely felt like that was our game to win,” Chauncey said. “It just came down to turnovers and easy missed baskets. We play them again on Friday [and] we’re going to be ready.”

Across both games, several underclassmen made an appearance and helped to drive the game forward. In addition to Larson and Chauncey, sophomore Destiny Yates and freshmen Maxine Doering and Emery Rullifson dominated the court.

“We have phenomenal underclassmen this year,” Claussen said. “Larson being a good three-point threat all the time, Destiny controlling the game. We have Max and Emery, the two freshmen that play with us consistently, they come in and just battle all the time, so they’re definitely a good energy boost for us when we need it.”

The girls play Topeka West at home Tuesday, Feb. 9 and hit the road to go head-to-head with Topeka High today. For coverage of games on Feb. 12, 15, 16, 19 and 23, go to or follow us on Instagram at @MHSMentor.

“We’re ready,” Larson said. “We’re excited to have another home game. We haven’t had a home game in a while, so we’re … excited to play again.”