Déjà vu: Boys drop heartbreak to end season


Aloera Ostermann

Senior Nate Awbrey defends the opposing point guard with hands high while senior Carson Marsh and sophomore Tyce Hoover stand in help side.

Jacob Clanton, Print Editor-in-Chief

The bad dream came back.

“Last quarter and a half was like a nightmare that we’ve relived too many times this year,” head coach Benji George said. “I don’t know what it is, I mean, I don’t know what causes us to lose such confidence, but we do.”

Yet again, the Indians (11-10) were unable to hold on to a double-digit second half lead, losing to Wichita North (10-11) 60-57 in the sub-state semifinal, ending their season.

“That’s the last 18 years of my life that’s pretty much done now,” senior John Ostermann said. “That’s the last time I’m going to play organized basketball for any school team or anything like that, so it’s just really sad and a little bit of disappointment in the way that it ended and just knowing that we’re better than what we showed.”

MHS struggled early, unable to get shots to fall. Junior Lawson Monaco helped turn the tide, scoring seven points in the last 2:30 to give Manhattan a 16-8 lead after the first.

The Indians continued to pour it on, taking a 15-point lead early in the third quarter.

“We were just getting them sped up,” Ostermann said, “and we were moving the ball well and attacking well.”

However, things took a turn. Wichita North went on a 15-0 run, tying up the game with 2:00 left in the third.

“We do such a good job of building the lead,” George said, “and then, I don’t know what causes it, but our confidence just goes away, and the team goes on a mini-run and then our confidence goes away and the mini-run turns into a big run. Our body language got poor, and the other team recognized things like that and they really turned the pressure up. Once we lost momentum, we just had a heck of a time getting it back.”
For the Indians on the bench, the comeback was tough to watch.

“I trust in my teammates that were out there,” Ostermann said, “and I know that they are capable of handling that pressure and doing it as well as me, but there’s always part of you that wants to be out there helping your team. When you’re sitting on the bench, you can’t do anything but cheer as loud as you possibly can.”

Manhattan held off North for a bit, but senior Peyton Hatter proved too much for MHS. Hatter scored 13 points in the fourth quarter, single-handedly keeping North in the game.  

“He got hot from the perimeter,” George said, “and we just didn’t cover out on him. I don’t know how we lacked the court awareness to know where he was, who was hot.”

The Indians continued to fight as a 3-pointer from Carson Marsh drew the game within one point with less than 10 seconds left. Luck wasn’t on MHS’ side though, as the last-second chance was thrown away, giving Hutchinson the victory.

Though it wasn’t the end result they wanted, the Indians will still take away important lessons from the year.

“I would just say that being in a position that us seniors were in and being able to be the leaders with all the young guys on our team was a great opportunity for us and for them,” Ostermann said, “because we really got a chance to impact their lives in more ways than just basketball, and I think that’s the best part about sports. You just get to build these relationships and be able to impact people in all different ways.”