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Topeka High rally comes up short against Manhattan boys, 59-56

By RICK PETERSON

TopSports.news

Topeka High boys basketball coach Eric King was thrilled with the fight his Trojans showed in rallying from a 22-point deficit to give themselves a chance late in Wednesday's Centennial League makeup game against Manhattan.

But the fact that Topeka High got down 22 in the first place was the problem, with the Trojans' comeback falling just short in a 59-56 loss to the Indians at High.

Manhattan, which improved to 7-7 overall and 5-6 in the league, opened the night with a 24-9 first quarter and the Indians went up 34-12 midway through the second quarter, forcing Topeka High to play catch up the rest of the game.

The Trojans got within 13 points at the half and cut their deficit to 10 (49-39) before scoring the first 8 points of the fourth to cut Manhattan's lead to 49-47 on a hoop by senior Jalen Smith with 6:08 remaining.

Manhattan answered with a 7-0 record to take a 56-47 lead with 3:18 left, but High mounted one last charge to get within 56-53 with 53 seconds remaining on a Naz Phillips bucket off a steal, but the Indians hit 3 free throws to take an insurmountable 59-53 lead before Smith drained a 3-pointer at the buzzer to account for the final margin.

"We kind of like spot people (points) and I've been telling them before the game that we have to come out with that same energy at the beginning,'' King said. "We come out lackadaisical and turn the ball over and then all of a sudden it's like, 'Oh, oh, we probably can win,' but by the time you come back you're 2 or 3 points short.''

Wednesday's loss dropped Topeka Higfh to 2-13 overall and 2-10 in the league, but the Trojans have now dropped 7 games by 8 or fewer points and nine games by 11 or fewer points..

Smith led Topeka High with 22 points, tying Manhattan senior Owen Braxmeyer for game-high honors, while senior Jayden Leesman added 16 points and freshman BJ Canady 10 points. The Trojans played Wednesday without senior Isiah Esquibel, who missed the game due to concussion protocol.

Junior Cade Perkins added 11 points and sophomore Cameron Carr 10 for Manhattan.

MANHATTAN BOYS 59, TOPEKA HIGH 56

Manhattan 24 14 11 10 -- 59

Topeka High 9 16 14 17 -- 56

Manhattan (7-7, 5-6) -- Braxmeyer 7-14 8-12 22, Perkins 4-7 0-0 11, Reid 2-3 1-2 5, Carr 4-8 2-3 10, J. Wilson 0-2 0-0 0, Hall 0-1 0-0 0, Wilcoxsen 0-1 0-0 0, Brown 3-7 0-0 8, C. Wilson 1-1 1-2 3. Totals 21-44 12-19 59.

Topeka High (2-13, 2-10) -- Smith 9-16 3-4 22, McMillon 1-2 0-0 3, Walker 1-5 0-0 3, Leesman 8-10 0-1 16, Canady 5-6 0-4 10, Phillips 1-2 0-0 2, Cameron 0 0-0 0, Kincade 0 0-0 0. Totals 25-41 3-9 56.

3-point goals -- Manhattan 5 (Perkikns 3, Brown 2), Topeka High 3 (Smith, McMillon, Walker). Total fouls -- Manhattan 12, Topeka High 15. Fouled out -- none.