MHS girls bounce back, top Buhler on Friday

By Joel Jellison

After Thursday’s first-round upset lost to Hays, the Manhattan High girls’ basketball team righted the ship on Friday afternoon with a 50-40 win over Buhler.

The Indians got 25 points from the bench in the win over the Crusaders, with Kristen Thompson scoring a season-high nine points, Par McNair adding eight points and Veronica Pitchford finishing with six points.

The Indians got outrebounded, especially by Buhler forward Josie Williams, who had a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Point guard Taryn Torgeson scored 17 poins and captured five boards for Buhler.

It was a tight game in the first quarter, with the teams playing to a 14-14 tie. Buhler used four 3-pointers in the first half to keep itself close in the game, as the Crusaders made just four baskets inside the perimieter. Manhattan took a 25-22 lead at halftime, shooting more than 40 percent from the field.

Free throw shooting would become key in a second half that saw the Indians outscore the Crusaders by just a few points in both the third and fourth quarters. Manhattan scored 25 points in the second half, making 14-of-17 at the free throw line and leaving just 11 more points scored on the floor.

Manhattan turned up the defense in the second half and held Buhler to 26 percent from the field, and the Crusaders scored seven of their 18 points in the second half at the charity stripe. Buhler finished with 22 turnovers.

Mari Jo Massanet led the Indians in scoring with 11 points for the second straight game, both being her lowest scoring outputs of the season. After leading the Indians in scoring in the first round, Onyeka Ehie finished with five points, and Elayna Spilker followed her 10-point performance by scoring five.

Both Darby Price and Massanet were hampered by foul trouble in round one, each fouling out. This time around, neither player registered a fifth foul, although Massanet did lead the team in that stat with four fouls.

Buhler was not able to match its first half 3-point shooting effort of making 4-of-6 in the second half, making just 1-of-9.

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