When Manhattan High and Junction City met up to end the month of January, the Indians used a dominant post attack of 29 points between Mari Jo Massanet and Darby Price to win 54-32.
Junction City is 0-8 now as it enters Manhattan on Friday to face an undefeated Indians team that has an early lead on the Centennial League standings.
MHS coach Scott Mall said the game with the Blue Jays will continue a tough four-game stretch that will conclude with Highland Park next Tuesday before the team goes to the Mid-America Classic the following week.
“We had two hard-fought games with last Friday and (Washburn Rural) and we know Junction City will be ready to play us,” he said. “This will probably be the last time we see them this year, so after last time I’m sure they will be gung-ho.”
The game was never really close in December, as the Indians led 18-5 after the first quarter alone, and 36-13 at halftime.
Massanet scored her season average of 21 points in the contest, while Price finished with eight points. Most impressive to Mall in that game, was the way his post players seemed to feed off each other for baskets.
That scenario happened again last Friday at Shawnee Heights, where the Indians were locked down in their first tight game of the season, one they won 42-38 with some late game rebounds off of missed free throws.
Massanet hit 21 points yet again on Tuesday, her fourth game this season with more than 20 points, and she continues to help the Indians dominate the paint on a game-to-game basis.
The loss to Manhattan dropped Junction City to 0-4 on the season, and the Blue Jays have since dropped games to Seaman, 35-30, and Topeka West, 46-40. Those two close losses have Mall thinking Junction City will come in ready to turn things around.
Its been a tough stretch for MHS since the winter break ended, with games against some of the better teams in the Centennial League.
The Indians handled Emporia last Tuesday and then beat Shawnee Heights, before using the big run on Tuesday to get past Washburn Rural. The games coming up with Junction City and Highland Park offer Manhattan a chance to position itself at the top of the Centennial League before the end of January.
Next Tuesday’s game against Highland Park will be the last league game this month, as the team will play in McPherson’s Mid-America Classic in the last full week of January.