After a 6-2 start to the season that has seen its ups and downs, the Manhattan High boys’ basketball team gets the chance to see just how well it stacks up among some of the state’s best teams this week.
The Indians will make their way to the southwest part of the state in time for Thursday’s Tournament of Champions opener against fourth-seeded Wichita Heights at 3:30 p.m. in Dodge City’s United Wireless Arena.
While the Falcons are not the same team they were with KU’s Perry Ellis, when they won four straight Class 6A championships, they are still one of the top teams in the Greater Wichita Athletic League and will provide a tough test to open the weekend.
“It’s a great tournament, a great field,” Manhattan head coach Tim Brooks said. “It’s tough — Wichita Heights has great tradition and they’re playing really well now, they’re 7-1. They were here (last Friday) scouting us and I’m sure they saw us play tough, and we’ll have to play like that when we play them.”
Ranked fifth in Class 5A by the KBCA, the Falcons’ only loss of the year came to undefeated Wichita East, the second-seeded team in the Dodge City TOC, by one point.
The tournament begins Thursday with top-seeded Hays taking on eighth-seeded Hutchinson at 2 p.m. No. 7 Leavenworth and No. 2 Wichita East play at 7 p.m. and No. 6 Dodge City plays No. 3 Maize in the late game at 8:30 p.m.
Should Manhattan win Thursday, it would likely face undefeated Hays in Friday’s semifinals.