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Girls basketball ready to capture title again

Michael Simmons, Blue M Sports Editor

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Being able to call yourself a state champion is not something that everyday people experience often. For the Manhattan High girls basketball team this is something that not only they get to experience every day, but that they plan to repeat.

“It feels awesome being defending state champions,” senior Chrissy Carr said. “We definitely have some work to do and we have a target on our back so we can’t go into this season thinking it will be easy. The biggest challenge would probably be just being ready to play every game because we will have such a target on us. My expectations are to win another state title for sure.”

The team finished the previous season remaining undefeated in their league, 12-0 and 20-1 overall, with their only loss to Olathe South in the McPherson tournament 50-38. Despite taking that loss last season they were still ranked the number one 6A team in the state and fourth overall. While it is dead week, meaning there can be no organized practices, conditioning sessions or team meetings, the team has still done some preparation in order to get ready for the season.

“I think the conditioning will help with playing as a team and getting us in shape so that we are able to play our best,” junior Kia Wilson said. “Hopefully fatigue won’t be a part of us not playing well. I think just because coaches can’t be there during open gym I think it’s a cool time for us to just bond as a team.”

The team’s closest game of the previous season in league play was the game against Washburn Rural where in the final seconds MHS won by a buzzer-beater 3-pointer. All of the rest of the league games MHS competed in ended with MHS having a significant lead over the opponent. This leads to another problem that MHS is likely to face this season.

“Well I think another challenge would be just like last year was hard finding good competition,” Wilson said. “I know that sounds really bad and cocky, but Centennial League for us at least, playing Highland Park and Junction City and beating both by 40 isn’t really good competition and won’t prepare you for games like the state tournament and things like that. I think it’s just having enough competition in order to push us to become a better team is sometimes a hard thing to find, but I feel like we can do whatever we set our minds to.”

Although the team is likely to face several challenges this season, they do have several strengths that they are able to rely on when adversity strikes.

“Some our strengths are shooting the ball and attacking the rim,” Carr said. “We also will be a good presence inside with how many good posts we have this year.”

Their first competition of the season will be the Hays Shootout on Nov. 30.

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Girls basketball ready to capture title again