Manhattan boys dominate Panthers

By Grant Guggisberg

After losing twice to Derby last season, the Manhattan High boys’ basketball team opened its season on a positive note with an 80-63 win over the Panthers Friday night behind 27 points from Alex Stitt and 25 from Payton Stephens.

The Indians were dominant all night, converting on layups after breaking Derby’s full-court press and finishing the night shooting 55 percent from the field and outscoring the Panthers from the free-throw line 25-14, with nine of Derby’s free throws coming in the fourth quarter long after the game was decided.

Friday’s win also brought the chance for several of Manhattan’s young players to make their varsity debuts.

Besides the two losses in basketball last year, the win was especially satisfying for the football players on the team who saw their season end with a lopsided loss in the second round of the Class 6A playoffs in mid-November.

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