Emery teams win first round of state
Emery 2 Rockwell 0, that is the score after the first round of the Utah State 2-A basketball playoffs held last week at Orem High School. The Emery High Lady Spartans defeated the Rockwell team 54-24 Friday night and then the Emery High boys' team defeated the same school Saturday morning 71-53.
With region 15, Emery's region, pitted against region 14 this season in the first round of the state tournament, it was a clean sweep for the region 15 girls teams as Emery, South Sevier, North Sevier and Grand all advanced to this week's three-day tournament conclusion at the Sevier Valley Center in Richfield. Region 16 almost duplicated region 15's feat as South Summit, Summit Academy and Gunnison all won and only North Summit suffered a loss as Enterprise defeated them in the final game of the night to prevent another sweep. North Summit had been ranked the number one team in 2-A most of the season but will now miss the final three days of play. Emery will face Enterprise this Thursday evening.
Usually it is each region's number one and number two teams that advance in the playoffs but not this year for the ladies. This season there will be two region winners, Emery and South Summit, and one region second place finisher, South Sevier. They will be joined by three third place region finishers, North Sevier, Gunnison and Enterprise and two fourth place finishers, Summit Academy and Grand. Emery is the pre-tournament favorite to win this season but with the way ranked teams are falling, who knows for sure.
On the boy's side, the normal format was followed with one exception, region 15's South Sevier at number four defeated region 14's best team, Layton Christian. Emery will match up with South Summit at 9:30 am this Thursday at the Sevier Valley Center. Everybody here will be jockeying for a place to play Wasatch Academy for the title. The Deseret News gives Emery the nod to make it to the title game over the other teams.
The Lady Spartans started the game off by being aggressive both offensively and defensively and put Rockwell away early as Rockwell only scored 9 points through the first three quarters of play. Emery led after the first period 17-4. Ashlynn Allred scored six points in that first period to pace the team. Emery won quarter two 10-3 with Hanna Dyer scoring 5 points for the team and Emery won quarter three 9-2 with Ashton Bell and Paytn Jeffs each scoring 4 points. Allred closed out the game in the fourth quarter by scoring 8 points in the period on her way to scoring a game high 17 points.
Scoring totals for the other Emery players in the game were Bell with 9 points, Jeffs with 8 points, Dyer with 8 points, Lexie Huntington with 3 points, Bailey Rasmussen with 2 points, Bayler Griffin with 2 points and Kambrie Hinkins with 1 point.
This Emery team plays well together as a unit and they get contributions from each of the girls that see playing time. Coach Stilson has done a good job of blending and mixing the players into a single team this season.
The Emery boys had to go win a game in Moab this week before they knew exactly who they would play on the weekend. Emery had to defeat Grand to secure the number two seed in the region and after a close game for the first three quarters, Emery finally pulled away in the fourth quarter to grab a 71-56 win against the Devils. Emery led by 10 after the first period at 23-13 but the Spartans were then outscored in the second period 15-7 and were outscored again in the third quarter 19-18 to lead after three periods 49-47.
Junior guard Dillon Wilstead had a great game as he scored 34 points for the night and sank six three-pointers along the way. He helped Emery get off to that big first quarter advance by hitting for double digit scoring in the period.
Bailey Faimalo scored 16 points and Gavin McDermott scored 10 points as the three leading scorers for the season for the Spartans finished in double figures. Also scoring in the game were McKlane Allred with 6 points, Drexler Tanner with 4 points and Beau Roundy with 1 point.
Emery then advanced to the first game of the day last Saturday and faced Rockwell, the third place team from region 14. The Rockwell boys were a considerably better team than their girl's counterparts. They played hard all game long but did not possess the athleticism that the Spartans have. If you have missed catching an Emery boy's game this season, you have missed a fun time as this team gets up and down the court quickly. They make their opponent pay with every mistake they make during the course of a game.
Emery opened the game by scoring on eight of their 17 possessions in the first quarter. All five Spartan starters scored in the period with Faimalo leading the way with six points. Emery won the period 17-8 on their way to winning each quarter of the game in producing a solid win. Emery took the second period 11-7 with Wilstead scoring six points. Emery took the third quarter 19-17 as Faimalo led the team this time with 10 points. Emery won the final quarter 24-21 with McDermott scoring eight points to lead the team.
Faimalo led Emery with 22 points in the game and he also dished out officially 10 assists, although I had him with three more than that, and he also had 7 rebounds. Wilstead finished with 17 points and McDermott scored 12 points, Tanner scored 8, Allred 7, Ridge Nielson scored 3 and Roundy scored 2.
Faimalo did a good job of driving the lane and either scoring a basket, getting fouled and going to the line or dishing the ball off for an assist.
Bailey was 11 for 14 at the line, one of his better free throw shooting games of the season. McDermott went 6 for 6 at the line as the whole team shot better at the line and Emery finished 24 for 32 on the night.