CHURCHILL — If you ask Manhattan Christian High School head boys basketball coach, Layne Glaus, what made his team so dominant last year winning a Class C state title? It'd be the word, ‘selfless’, a word that can also be used to describe this year's team.
“It's beautiful basketball when they're playing selfless,” Glaus said after a strong 2-0 start to the season. “Everybody wants to touch the ball and do something with it, but they do a good job of just catching it and understanding when's a good time to shoot, when's a good time to pass.”
The defense moves just as crisply. Everyone is on a string in driving lanes trying to keep the ball out of the paint, and after a 73-32 win over the reigning Class B state champions Three Forks Wednesday night, the team defense was on full display.
“Defensively, we're connected and they don’t worry about their man,” Glaus explained. It was kind of a five guys playing defense on the ball type of mentality.”
Led offensively by senior Seth Amunrud and junior Mason Venema who are two of the state’s most athletic and dynamic scorers in Class C, it’s the assist totals for the team that make the offense whole.
“We talk about assists being high [and] when they're high, we're playing the right type of basketball on offense.”
Watching this group play might look familiar to any fans of college basketball as the style of play emulates the University of Virginia under head coach Tony Bennett who won a national championship in 2019.
“I'm a basketball junkie, so I enjoy watching college hoops and I've always respected Tony Bennett,” Glaus admitted. “One, [he] is a man of faith, and I respect that and two, his teams are always gritty.”
After an undefeated state championship run last season, their third in school history, the message is the same for this year’s group looking to make it back-to-back titles.
“They understand for us to be good, it truly does have to be a group effort.”