Having already beaten one ranked team, and a team in the top three of the Centennial League standings, the Manhattan High girls’ basketball team will turn its attention to the team challenging its league lead.
The Indians host Seaman on Friday, a team that is just one game below MHS in the league standings, and the team that most favored to win the conference at the beginning of the season.
The Vikings enter Friday’s contest at 12-3 on the season with a 7-1 league record, and part two of a three-part week that MHS coach Scott Mall said is a challenge to his squad.
“This is a tough week,” he said. “We played a ranked team on Tuesday and play a ranked team on Friday in Seaman, and they are sitting a game behind us in league. That’s a huge game, they are playing really well.”
Seaman enters the game winners of six out of its last seven games, including a third-place finish at the Capital City Classic.
The Vikings have played teams at the bottom of the league to close tight games, and they have routed teams that are closer to their record.
Mall said they are beating teams because of their overall balance on offense.
“They have a good senior group and a lot of long, athletic girls, and they just do their stuff,” he said. “They run their offense until something opens up and they can play any defense to match up.”
Seaman opened the season with a win over Blue Valley Southwest, and then lost its first game of the year against Lawrence Free State.
The Vikings then positioned themselves nicely by rattling off five straight wins over Lansing, Shawnee Heights in a non-league game, Hayden, Junction City and Washburn Rural — the team Manhattan beat on the road on Tuesday.
Seaman’s only league loss snapped that winning streak in a 32-29 loss at Topeka High. But the Vikings answered that loss with a win at Highland Park and then beat the Trojans 44-29 at home in the rematch.
Seaman opened the Capital City Classic with a win over Olathe North, but then fell in a two-point game against Blue Valley-Stilwell. The Vikings finished off that tournament with a 57-45 win over Shawnee Mission East and have won consecutive league games leading into Friday’s contest in Manhattan.
The Indians have just two home games left on their schedule including Friday’s game with Seaman. Manhattan will return home the following Friday to play Shawnee Heights. Of the six games left on the schedule, four are on the road.