Spartans Dismantle Dinos 55-46
The Emery boys' basketball team had a great week, beating two region opponents in three days and firmly securing second place in the region.
First the Spartans beat Carbon 55-46 in a game that was as fun for Emery as it was frustrating for the Dinos. Then Emery dismantled Delta 53-41 thanks to a big game by point guard Bowie Jeffs who hit five 3-pointers.
Wednesday Emery traveled to Price and played the Dinos. The Spartans shot out to a quick lead and every time Carbon started to make a run Emery made a big shot and pushed the Dinos back.
Emery's lead was built on the back of outside shooting and inside rebounding and five players scored for Emery in the quarter: Jeffs, Seth Powell, Pete Nielson, Brandon Hansen, and Willie Lester. Emery shot out to a 16-10 lead.
Carbon cut into the lead to start the second quarter with a couple of free throws, but Lester hit a 3-pointer to push Emery's lead to 19-12 and then hit another (his third in three tries) to push Emery's lead to 22-14.
But Carbon, who always plays tough against the Spartans, put on a little run and with six straight points pulled to within two at 22-20.
Then it was Emery's turn to run.
The Spartans outscored Carbon 12-2 over a four-minute span, topped off with Lester's fourth 3-pointer to lead 34-22.
Carbon hit a 3-pointer with just seconds left in the half and Emery went in with a 34-25 lead.
In the second half Emery looked to Jeffs to take the lead home and he delivered.
After scoring only four free throws in the first half, Jeffs scored 14 points in the second, including another six free throws with the game on the line.
But the game was still in doubt until, with 1:37 left in the game and Emery leading 50-42, Hansen stood his ground and took a charge that negated a basket and gave Emery the ball.
That play essentially won it for the Spartans, but it was just one of many big defensive plays Hansen and the other Spartans had during the course of the game.
The final score was 55-46.
The game got a little rough toward the end with a flagrant foul called against Carbon, a stare-down and several words between a couple of players, and an astonishing jump-ball call when the Carbon player was grabbing the Emery player from behind. But cooler heads prevailed and so did the Spartans to grab their first region win of the year.
Trying to avoid a letdown in the second game of the week, the Spartans faced Delta in the Spartan Center.
Emery had a hard time getting into the game early and fell behind 11-7. But the Rabbits couldn't hit anything either and neither team scored over the last 3:48 of the quarter.
But the Spartans picked up their scoring touch in the second quarter.
Jeffs, Lester, and Kent Stilson each hit a 3-pointer and Emery blasted to a 23-17 lead at halftime, outscoring Delta 16-6 in the second quarter. Jeffs had 12 points at the half.
The Spartans continued to hit in the third quarter, especially Jeffs. He made three 3-pointers and Powell hit a couple shots to push Emery's lead to 40-28 going into the fourth quarter.
Jeffs sealed the game in the fourth, just like he had two days before. He made eight-of-10 free throws while Hansen made three-of-four and Emery coasted to the 53-41 win.
Jeffs scored 47 points in the two games including 20-of-24 from the free-throw line and five 3-pointers.
Emery plays on the road the next two weeks at North Sanpete Friday and at Lehi Feb. 1. Their next home game is against Carbon on Feb. 6.