Girls basketball places sixth in McPherson tournament

Julianna Poe, Online Editor-in-Chief

After putting up a fight, the Manhattan High Varsity girls basketball team took home sixth out of eight teams in the McPherson tournament over the weekend.

“The team was mad about the outcome,” junior Destiny Yates said. “We were doing everything that we could to catch up and we did but … the [fifth place] win was in Clearwater’s favor.”

Heading into the tournament, the girls had over a week to prepare, with their latest game against Topeka High on Jan. 18 ending in a loss, 53-78. On Thursday, the team went head-to-head with Olathe South. According to Yates, turnovers hurt Manhattan High’s chances of winning the game.

“We played hard and together, but having 13 turnovers in the first half led to us not scoring and them scoring and putting them in lead,” Yates said. “[Olathe South] didn’t do anything spectacular to beat us, they just valued the ball more than we did that game.”

Despite the loss, 34-48, the team didn’t let the first game bring them down for their remaining two days in the tournament.

“We were a little mad and upset because nobody on the team planned on losing the first game, but that didn’t discourage us,” Yates said. “We all knew we needed to win our next games and put this one in the past because at that point it was out of our hands.”

In their game against Marysville on Friday, the girls cleaned up their plays and, according to Yates, “defended the ball well.” At game end, the girls had an eight-point lead over Marysville, winning 52-44.

“That win felt great [and was a] much-needed confidence booster,” Yates said. “It proved to us that we are still in the tournament and one loss doesn’t define how the rest of our tournament would go.”

In their final game against Clearwater on Saturday, the team fell behind, losing 59-69. According to Yates, two of the team’s starters fouled out early on in both the third and fourth quarters, contributing to the loss.

“We plan on working on turnovers and valuing the basketball better,” Yates said. “We also need to plan on having a higher percentage in the paint, which is making more layups and little bunny shots.”

Post-tournament, the girls now have a win-loss score of 4-8. On Tuesday, the girls will travel to Seaman to play their rescheduled game from Jan. 14 and on Friday, the girls will play Manhattan High rival Junction City at home. In their previous game against JC, the girls won 39-17.

“We feel good,” Yates said. “Even though we played [JC] in the past and [won], we can’t take out opponents lightly, so we still have to have the same attitude and approach every single time, and it doesn’t matter who we play.”