Boys Rebound from Loss, Beat Seaman

After+getting+the+ball+back+for+Manhattan+High%2C+senior+Trevor+Hudgins+drives+the+ball+back+toward+Seaman+High%27s+basket.+%0APhoto+by+Angie+Moss

After getting the ball back for Manhattan High, senior Trevor Hudgins drives the ball back toward Seaman High's basket. Photo by Angie Moss

Coming off a loss, it’s easy to find motivation. Areas where a team struggles are highlighted, and improvements are made in the hope of winning the next game.
Manhattan High (8-3, 4-1 Centennial League) did just that, beating Seaman (9-3, 4-2 Centennial League) 62-44.
“We had just a fire in our eyes and a fire in our bellies,” head coach Benji George said, “and our guys have so much pride. They were ready to show what they’re made of, and I thought we really did tonight.”
With the win, the Indians moved to 8-0 coming off a loss under George.
“I told the guys ‘Let’s try to lose fewer games so we don’t have to talk about how we are coming off a loss,’” George said.
After a 3-pointer from Seaman opened the scoring, the Indians responded with high intensity, going on a 10-2 run to force a Seaman timeout just minutes into the game.
“We knew we had to come out strong,” senior Cade Roberts said, “and kind of prove to the league that we’re a competitor, and someone to be reckoned with. We knew that we had to come out, and make the first punch in the first four minutes.”
MHS successfully made that punch on both ends of the floor. The Indians opened the game shooting 83 percent from the floor while forcing turnovers on the other side of the ball. They kept up that hot start, getting out to an 18-12 lead at the end of the first.
Seaman started to worm its way back, thanks in part to senior Tanyon Schafer. Schafer was a force inside, creating fouls and points and helped cut the Indian lead to five at halftime.
“He kind of came out early with some O-boards and some and-ones, and we adjusted,” Roberts said. “I feel like Josh Haus [senior] really came off the bench and proved himself tonight, and I think he deserves a lot of credit for helping with Schafer.”
The third quarter went the same way as the first for Manhattan, as the Indians scored 21 points while holding Seaman to only seven.
“The game’s a lot easier when the ball’s going in the basket,” George said, “and I mean, Tommy [Ekart, senior] was seeing it through and [Roberts] was seeing it through, they were doing a good job of finding each other.”
Ekart and Roberts were the leading scorers for Manhattan with 14 and 12 points respectively as senior Trevor Hudgins added 10.
For Manhattan, the fourth quarter was all about maintaining its lead and getting guys experience. MHS played its entire bench, cruising to a 62-44 final.
A key for the Indians was the production from other players. Instead of Ekart, Roberts and Hudgins scoring all the points, others, such as senior Ian Trapp and junior Nate Awbery, got in on the action.
“The game kind of just came to me,” Trapp said of his career-high nine points. “I had opportunities and I kind of put them away. I kind of missed some, but when I had the opportunity I took advantage of it and kind of got the job done.”
For the Indians, this has been lacking throughout the season, and George was glad to see other guys get involved.
“Number one thing that we talked about in the locker room [was] we got contributions from guys,” George said. “Haus gave great minutes … and [Awbrey]’s confidence is growing every single day, and I thought [for Trapp], this might have been his best game of the year so far. If we can continue to get contributions from those guys, then I think the sky’s the limit for us.”
The Indians’ next game will be at Topeka West on Tuesday in a game that was originally scheduled for Jan 31. Though Manhattan has struggled in road games so far, the Indians are ready to break that mold.
“It’s easy to find motivation in our league,” Trapp said, “because everyone’s good this year, and T-West is a great team this year, and we just got to come out and get the job done like we did tonight.”