Boys basketball moves ahead with a 11-8 record going into substate

Will Ivester, Sports Editor

The Manhattan High School boys basketball team has just improved to 11-8 after their dominant win over Washburn Rural on Friday. Since MHS played in the Mcpherson Invitational they have had a record of 3-4.

MHS came home after their MIT and looked to bounce back against Emporia. To start the game Manhattan held up a fight against Emporia and kept the score tied at 20 going into the half. In the second half MHS was down by three at the start of the fourth. In the fourth Manhattan put up a fight but fell short as Emporia escaped with a win 39-41.

Later that same week MHS hosted Blue Valley West. In the first quarter Manhattan showed dominance as they went up 21-16 going into the second quarter. The second quarter was a back-and-forth quarter as BVW scored 18 and MHS scored 17 to hold a lead of four at the half. In the third BVW came out hot and took back the lead as they out scored MHS 18-9 in the third to hold a five point lead with a quarter to go. In the fourth BVW would be too strong for the Indians as they fell to their third straight loss 67-59.

“They played excellent in the first half and then Blue Valley wanted it more than us and we have a lot to improve on for our next game,” Coach Benjamin George said.

MHS traveled to Topeka to take on the Hayden Wildcats and  to get rid of their losing streak. In the first half both teams battled hard on both ends of the court to keep the score tied at 24 going into the half. In the third quarter Sophomore Landon Knopp knocked down two threes to help the Indians regain the lead by one going into the fourth. To start the fourth Hayden went on a 5-0 run, enough to knock down the Indians 48-51 in their four-game slide.

MHS finally broke their losing streak at Topeka High after a dominant performance over the Trojans. In the first half the Indians were shooting sharp as senior Jack Wilson knocked down three threes to help the Indians hold a lead of five at the half. In the second half MHS dominated in the paint and secured a 76-71 win over Topeka for their first win in almost three weeks.

“We finally played the whole game and didn’t let down in the second half,” Wilson said, “and I think that’s what helped us win this game,”

In Manhattan’s next game they hosted their rivals the Junction City Blue Jays. From the start of this game it was electric as both the fan bases showed up with tons of spirit for their team. This game was a battle form that started as both teams would take the lead every other minute. It came down to the final two minutes where it really mattered. In the final minutes of the game Manhattan was down by four with possession where they kicked it out to senior Cole Coonrod as he nailed a three to move within one. In JC’s next possession they missed on their opportunity and Wilson got the rebound as the Indians looked to take the lead. Senior Dre Delort looked to end the game like Washburn a few weeks back but missed off the glass, leaving Coonrod to take the rebound and put it up for an and-one to take the lead. With only four seconds left down by one, JC took a timeout to make their final play. After their timeout JC found an open man who got  the shot off but missed, as Manhattan won a nail biter in the final few seconds 46-45.

“I knew I had to get the ball up so I went up with it and it paid off,” Coonrod said. “It means a lot to win this game when it might be my last time playing them and it’s always fun to beat JC.”

Last Tuesday MHS looked to stretch the winning streak to three in a row in a rematch against Emporia at Emporia. Manhattan fell behind early in this game as they dropped behind by six in the first half. In the second Emporia was too powerful again, as they held the lead the whole gameand handed MHS the loss 40-44.

Friday against Washburn Rural Manhattan came out strong and stayed full throttle the whole first half with the help of Wilson’s 16 points. MHS held a lead of nine at the half.

In the second half MHS would keep going as they never let go of the lead in a dominant 78-70 win over Washburn.

“We’ve played really well our past few games,” Wilson said, “and we need to keep it up to go further than last year:”

Manhattan’s next game will be in Sub-State that will be determined after they play Hayden.