After the way the Manhattan High boys’ basketball team played on Tuesday, head coach Tim Brooks said the team can only do one of two things after a 75-40 home loss to Emporia.
“When you get kicked that hard you do two things, you continue to lay down or you come back fighting,” he said.
From the get-go on Tuesday, the Indians came out of the winter break flat, allowing the Spartans to open up the game on an 11-2 run, and trailing 19-9 going into the second quarter.
It’s from that point on that Brooks said things went south.
“We didn’t play hard,” he said. “When it got to 19-9, I thought we laid down, which is pretty uncharacteristic of this group. We didn’t have energy, we didn’t play hard, we didn’t play with enthusiasm.”
The Indians had a size disadvantage against Emporia, which started 6-foot-6 junior Garin Vandiver and 6-foot-5 senior Ryan Huth, The Indians had 6-foot-7 senior Jacob Sobering on their side, but the larger built Emporia forwards seemed to push their way around on the inside.
Vandiver led the charge on the inside and on the scoreboard, finishing with 22 points. But it didn’t all come in the inside, and he wasn’t the only one causing trouble there. Huth finished with seven points and the work on the inside from other players opened up seven 3-pointers for the Spartans.
“I thought that they really hurt us inside, and they did it in a variety of ways,” Brooks said. “It wasn’t just Vandiver, they did it off penetration too, and we didn’t do a lot of little things defensively right. So back to the drawing board, we’ve got to go back to work.”
The game got out of hand for the Indians in the second period, where the Spartans would outscore MHS 30-10 using a series of runs. A 10-3 run in the early minutes of the quarter made the score 29-12, and a 20-5 run in the last half of the period put the game out of reach, 49-19.
The Spartans picked at the Indians continuously in the second half, in the same ways they had in the first. Speedy Emporia point guard Jackson Perez ran the court and found players like Austin Knight for wide-open shots.
Perez scored 11 of his 19 points in the first half, with most coming off fast break opportunities. And with the Indians unable to stop him in the second half, the Spartans continued to push their lead up, at one point leading by as much as 36.
After Vandiver’s 22 and Perez’s 19, Knight scored 12 points with a trio of 3-pointers. Keaton Barragar was the leading scorer for Manhattan, scoring just seven points and making one of the team’s three 3s.
Emporia 75, Manhattan 40
Emporia 19 30 15 11 — 75
Manhattan 9 10 10 11 — 40
EMPORIA (75) — Vandiver 22, Perez 19, Knight 12, Morrow 9, Huth 7, Savage 3, Ford 2, Thomsen 1.
MANHATTAN (40) — Barragar 7, Sobering 6, Keck 5, Payne 5, Holloway 4, Perbeck 3, Taylor 3, Stephens 2, Henry 2, Hudgins 2, Burton 1.
3-pointers — Emporia 7 (Knight 3, Vandiver 2, Huth, Savage). Manhattan 3 (Keck, Payne, Barragar).