Boys open season with third place finish

Jacob Clanton, Print Editor-in-Chief

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Like any basketball team, coming into the Hays City Shootout, Manhattan High looked to claim the title.

Though they finished in third, the Indians were glad to get the season started.

“Going into the tournament,” senior Nate Awbrey said, “obviously we wanted to win, but to come out of there with two wins is good. It’s a learning experience, like it was good for the younger guys and it was good to get two wins out of it, so we’ll use that moving forward for sure.”

MHS (2-1) beat Great Bend (1-2) 46-32 in the third place game of the Hays City Shootout on Saturday to take the win. Sophomore Raeshon Riddick was key for the team, leading them with 17 points.

“It was just like a fun moment,” Riddick said. “Having an opportunity to play is what I love.”

Riddick and the team started slow, leading just 10-9 after the first quarter. However, the team turned it on in the second quarter, allowing just three points. Meanwhile, Awbrey went off for seven of his 10 points in the second.

“I was just able to get out in transition and that’s what kind of got me going in the first half,” Awbrey said. “We got a few steals, and I was able to get out front and finish at the rim and get fouled a couple times. I was just kind of able to attack the hoop, so that’s what got me going that game.”

It was Riddick’s time to shine in the third quarter, as he grabbed three of his teammate’s misses, putting them back in for points.

“[Getting offensive rebounds is] pretty big because that means we get to set our offense up again,” Riddick said, “or I can just put it up like I did on Saturday and get the two points.”

Manhattan ran to a 36-18 lead after three quarters and cruised to a 46-32 win.

The Indians were missing their starting guard throughout the tournament due to sickness, but maintained without him.

“Losing Dawson [Stewart, senior] at the guard spot, it really just increased a lot of minutes for other guys,” Awbrey said, “and it gave good opportunities for young guys to play too, but I mean, he’s a key piece to what we do and not to have him there, it made things harder for sure.”

The Indians will return to action on Friday, as they host Dodge City (0-1) to open the home slate. MHS knows they need to work on keeping up the defensive intensity.

“In practice, we always stress defense a lot,” Awbrey said, “and when you get in games, your mind gets going, you start to get tired, so just making sure that we’re really on point defensively, because we can control that. Offense comes and goes, but defense will always be there.”

After starting the season on the road, the Indians are excited to return to the friendly confines of the North Gym.

“I’m really excited,” Awbrey said. “I love playing here in front of everybody, and it’s just a fun feeling, so I hope the younger guys get a fun experience out of it too.”

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Boys open season with third place finish