Boys survive thriller against Wichita East

Jacob Clanton, Print Editor-in-Chief

Jaylen Randle caught the ball, jumped behind the 3-point line and put up a potential game-winning shot.

“When the shot went up, I thought he made it,” senior Carson Marsh said. “He kind of had a free shot, so I was scared for a second, but it didn’t go in.”

Wichita East’s junior hit the front rim with his shot, and in the scuffle to rebound the ball, the clock ran out on Wichita’s (6-6) chances, giving Manhattan High (6-4) the 50-48 win in the Tournament of Champions.

The Indians finished the tournament in fifth place after dropping the first game to Hays 63-45.

“We realized we weren’t really ready to play when we got there to Dodge,” Marsh said. “We just kind of had to stay focused and realized that we can’t take any team lightly, like we’re going to have to actually work to win any games this season.”

MHS fought throughout the first half, taking a 26-16 lead into halftime. Manhattan took that momentum into the second half, rushing out to a 13-point lead.

“I think just moving the ball [was big], to be honest,” senior Dawson Stewart said. “Every shot was our shot, so I think that was key.”

However, Wichita East came back, closing the gap to two points with 15 seconds left, setting up the last second shot.

“They were pressing the whole game,” Stewart said, “but obviously, they started pressing more because game was about to be over. We weren’t super strong with the ball, but it’s a great learning experience for us.”

Though Wichita’s press gave it a chance, the last-second shot fell out, giving MHS the 50-48 win.

During the game, Manhattan drew five charges, meeting a goal head coach Benji George set before a game.

“Coach said before the game if we got five charges, then he’d shave lightning bolts in his head,” Stewart said. “We’re going to hold him to that, and it will happen in a week or two.”

Marsh set a school record by drawing three of the team’s five charges en route to being named to the all-tournament team.

“It feels pretty good [to be named to the team],” Marsh said. “My uncle was [on] the all-tournament team, [so] it’s kind of cool because my name will be up there for however long the tournament lasts.”

Marsh was joined on the all-tournament team by senior Nate Awbrey.

After the tournament, the Indians have a week off before traveling to Seaman (7-4), resuming Centennial League play.