Manhattan High girls’ basketball coach Scott Mall doesn’t want to see history repeat itself.
A year ago, Manhattan beat Shawnee Heights on the road without much trouble before losing the second matchup in February to a team that was much improved.
After beating the T-Birds with ease in January, the Indians return the trip tonight, and Mall wants his team to stay focused.
“We’ve reminded them all week that last year we beat them easy at their place and they came here and beat us,” Mall said. “So we’re definitely going to stress that we don’t want that to happen again, because they had an off game last time, so we need to be ready to play.”
Shawnee Heights (7-6, 3-4 Centennial) isn’t exactly surging right now, with two losses after a 2-1 showing at the Highland Park midseason tournament.
After an easy game Tuesday against an overmatched Topeka West squad, Manhattan will have to refocus if they want to stay undefeated in league play.
“We came out with focus both on offense and defense to try and play well and improve from the last game,” Mall said of the Topeka West win. “That’s what set up the rest of the game.”
For the boys’ team, trying to beat Shawnee Heights after losing its first game of the season to the T-Birds, 53-45, will be a tall task.
“It will be a very similar style of game, we anticipate, with the quickness that Shawnee Heights has and the shooters they have,” Manhattan assistant coach Benji George said following Tuesday’s loss to Topeka West. “We can watch this film and learn from it, and know what to expect on Friday.”
Slowing down the Barksdale brothers will be the toughest task of the night, with Tevin Downing and Braeson Sester also proving to be tough matchups. Shawnee Heights is currently in sole possession of second place in the league behind Highland Park. Seaman and Manhattan are tied for third.
George and Shane Sieben are now officially in charge of the Indians with the announcement of Tim Brooks’ resignation this morning. Whether the announcement will serve as a distraction or divide the team remains to be seen.