The Manhattan High girls’ basketball team got one of its toughest league tests against Washburn Rural just two short weeks ago.
Tonight, the Junior Blues make the return trip to face the Indians in a girls-only matchup scheduled to begin at 7:30.
Manhattan head coach Scott Mall said while the game seems fresh for both teams, both have had plenty else on their minds in the last two weeks.
“It seems soon, but both of us have played some really tough teams,” Mall said. “We had to play Hayden in between, they played some tough teams, so I’m sure we haven’t been on their minds since then.”
Manhattan (7-1, 5-0 Centennial) won 57-51 on Jan. 7 in Topeka, rallying from a third-quarter deficit behind 15 straight points by Caroline Ballard to start the fourth quarter. Ballard scored 26 points in the game that gave the Indians their second Centennial League win.
Still undefeated in league play, the Indians know the importance of protecting their home floor.
Manhattan will once again try to contain Courtney Winkley, who led Rural with 14 points in the first game and averages 15.1 points per game. Jordyn Musselman scored eight points in the first game while battling foul trouble for the Junior Blues.
Since losing to Manhattan at home, Washburn Rural (6-3, 4-3) has gone 2-1, with narrow wins over Topeka High and Shawnee Heights and a close loss to Seaman.
“It’s a good game for us, they’re a good team and it’s a real challenge,” Mall said. “It’s an important game for us, we need to play well and get a win.”
The boys’ team does not play tonight as it prepares to begin play in the Dodge City Tournament of Champions on Thursday. MHS hosts Washburn Rural on Feb. 4.