MHS takes league lead on the road

By Joel Jellison

At 7-0 in the Centennial League, the Manhattan High girls’ basketball team is positioned to make a run at the league title with just six league games left.

Standing in its way on Tuesday will be third-place Washburn Rural, a team that has played to some classic finishes with the Indians over the past few seasons.

While the teams aren’t necessarily considered rivals, the MHS and Washburn Rural girls have played like it recently, and the Indians were the last team to take a game in the series.

Whether it’s basketball, volleyball, soccer, softball or even golf, anytime the Manhattan and Washburn Rural girls meet, a good game is likely to be the result.

The Indians beat the Junior Blues on the hardwood back on Jan. 10, in Manhattan and Washburn Rural will be looking to even things up this season in the rematch on Tuesday in Topeka.

Last time around, the Junior Blues struggled to find their shot in a 56-34 loss on the road. For Manhattan, 21 points from MJ Massanet, and double figure scoring performances out of Onyeka Ehie and Elayna Spilker highlighted the win.

The Indians had one of their best free throw shooting performances in the win, making 25-of-32 shots from the line.

The Indians were leading by just one point at halftime, and outscored Washburn Rural 20-8 in the third quarter to take over the game.

Washburn Rural will enter Tuesday’s game at 10-4 on the season and winners of four of its last five games. The Junior Blues took third place at the Firebird Invitational two weeks ago, and beat Emporia when they returned to league play last week.

Washburn Rural will open a four-game home stretch with the game against MHS on Tuesday, putting the Junior Blues in a much more fortunate position for the remainder of the season than the schedule left for Manhattan.

The Indians will return home next Friday for a game at Seaman and will then hit the road again for a game at Salina Central. MHS has seven games left this season and will have just two at home, including one against Shawnee Heights.

As the Indians head toward sub-state, they are vying for the top spot in their region along with Wichita Heights.

The Falcons are currently ranked No. 1 in the Class 6A girls’ rankings from the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association, while the Indians check in at No. 5.

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