Indians, Scots square off Tuesday

By Joel Jellison

Two years ago, Manhattan traveled to Topeka to face a talented Highland Park team that threatened to challenge the Indians run to a Centennial League title.

But that Scots team, as talented as it was, couldn’t keep up with the offensive and defensive prowess of the Indians in a 64-49 loss.

The Indians saw just how talented the Scots could be last season, when the teams played each other within a week, once at Manhattan and another time in a tournament.

Highland Park won the matchup in Manhattan, 35-32, and the Indians took the tournament win 35-34.

As the Indians (7-0) prepare to travel to Topeka on Tuesday for a game against Highland Park (7-1), MHS coach Scott Mall is reminding his team to expect more of the same from last season.

“I told them looking ahead to not think its Highland Park because they’ve played better,” he said. “They were ranked No. 1 in the state at Class 5A at one point, and they are very talented. They have had a lot of talent over the last few years and they just hadn’t put it together, but they have this year.”

The Indians have played well this year in seven games, but most of those contests have come in Manhattan. In just two road trips, the Indians have won in a blowout fashion at Junction City, and they closed out a game at Shawnee Heights in the final minute.

Mall said their road resume to this point doesn’t matter if they play like they are supposed to on Tuesday.

“We’ve had a lot of home games and not many road games,” he said. “We played really well on the road and got another win on the road, but if we can keep working hard on defense and being smart on defense, it shouldn’t matter.”

The Scots are coming off of their first loss of the season on Friday, in maybe the worst game they have played all season. Highland Park was held to 28 points in a 43-28 loss to Seaman at home.

Going into Friday’s game, the Scots season low in points for a game was 43, which they scored twice in wins. Highland Park has been a tough team to solve this season, with a couple close games and some blowouts going in the Scots’ favor.

Mall talked about how tough an undefeated Highland Park team would be following the Indians’ win over Junction City on Friday, without knowing the Scots had gone down in Topeka.

The contest will still be important in the Centennial League race early in the season, as both teams look to be contenders.

The Indians will take more than a week off after Tuesday’s game, almost too much time in Mall’s mind, as they prepare to play in the Mid America Classic in McPherson.

Joining Manhattan in the tournament will be Andale, Beloit, Buhler, Gardner-Edgerton, Goddard, Hays and McPherson. It will be the Indians’ first apperance in the tournament.

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