MANTI — South Summit’s game plan going into Friday’s contest against Manti was to “survive,” Wildcats coach Norm Hayter said.
South Summit was on its third game in as many days, playing for a brand-new head coach in Hayter and up against the No. 1 team in 3A on the Templars’ home court in the final game of a tournament they themselves were hosting.
It’s safe to say the Wildcats did a little more than survive.
Thanks to a dominant 27-point performance by junior forward Logan Woolstenhulme, South Summit likely laid a new claim on the top spot in the 3A rankings with an impressive 59-56 win over Manti.
The Wildcats advanced to 8-0 on the season and broke the Templars’ 22-game winning streak dating back to last December while also handing Manti its first regular season loss to a fellow 3A team since its final game of the 2021-22 regular season.
It’s been a tiring but rewarding week for South Summit, as the Wildcats preceded Friday’s win with a dominant victory over Juab on Thursday.
Woolstenhulme’s scoring performance, nearly half the scoring output of his entire team, came while primarily matching up under the basket against the reigning 3A Player of the Year, Manti senior forward Reggie Frischknecht.
Not only did Woolstenhulme clearly outperform his counterpart, but he also was a nightmare for Frischknecht defensively, holding him scoreless in the first quarter and without a field goal until midway through the third.
“(Woolstenhulme) just played extremely well tonight,” Hayter said. “He had a great night. He’s being unselfish. He just does what he has to do for the team. He’s a versatile player, and we’re blessed to have him on our team.”
Manti mostly scored by committee as three players hit double figures, with Frischknecht leading the way with 16 points, though it took him a while to get there.
Senior guard Jessen Barton scored 15 points, including three 3-pointers, and senior Hunter Stevens gathered up 11 points.
For the offensive firepower that Manti typically trots out on teams, particularly from the perimeter, South Summit had the Templars looking for answers throughout most of the first half, especially after an 8-0 run in the first quarter put the Wildcats in control early on.
Manti never led in the game despite the close finish. In the fourth quarter, the Templars went on a tear desperately trying to turn the game around. Outscoring South Summit, 12-5, in the opening minutes of the final frame, the Templars fell short of tying the game on the final possession.
The Wildcats became the first team to hold Manti below 58 points this season.
“Our guys have bought into the philosophy of pretty good man-to-man defense and to work together,” Hayter said. “We were lucky to get Manti on a bad night. … We feel very fortunate to be able to come away from here with a win.”