Emery Spartans place fourth in state tourney
Junior point guard Bailey Faimalo led his Emery Spartan basketball team to a fourth place finish at the just completed 2-A Utah State basketball tournament in Cedar City. Faimalo, at the completion of the games, was named to the All-Tournament team for Emery.
Faimalo averaged 13 points per game in the three-day affair, shot the ball well, dished out numerous assists and even pulled down a good number of rebounds.
Emery's first game on Thursday was against Waterford, an upset winner the week before against Enterprise. Emery was extra cautious to not let an upset occur two games in a row and the Spartans prevailed against Waterford 51-33. On Friday, Emery played Gunnison in the semi-finals with the Bulldogs winning on literally a last second shot as time expired that prevented the game from going into overtime. Final score was 49-46. On Saturday, Emery played the two-time defending state champions South Sevier and Emery gave the Rams a run for their money before finally losing the game 68-62.
Against Waterford, Emery went quickly into the lead in the game as they took a first quarter lead at 18-13. Dawson Jensen scored six points in the quarter to pace the Spartans. Emery's defense cracked down in the second quarter and held the Ravens to three-point quarter. Emery scored another 13 points in the period and now led at the half 31-16.
Emery outscored Waterford 9-8 in the third quarter and then 11-9 in the final period to get to the 18-point victory.
Faimalo led the team with 13 points while Emery's centers Dawson Jensen and Corbin Barnett each scored 8 points in the game. Jensen got into early foul trouble and Barnett did a good job in the middle and played maybe his best game of the season. Also scoring in the game were Brendon Jorgensen with 7 points, Spencer Labrum and Dillon Wilstead with 5 points, David Dyer with 3 points and Tyson Roper with 2 points.
Against Gunnison, this was a game that was nip and tuck throughout. Emery had a point lead after the first quarter at 10-9 with Faimalo and Wilstead each scoring 5 points each in the quarter. Both teams then scored 10 points in the second quarter and Emery maintained their one point advantage. At the end of the third quarter the score was tied at 30-30 as again the two teams evenly battled. Jensen had five points in this period.
In the final quarter, Emery tied the score with less than a minute to go at 46-46, and then after a timeout, went to a man defense. Gunnison got the ball inbounds and then Gunnison's leading scorer for the game took a shot from about 25 feet away and the ball went in as the buzzer sounded and just like that Emery had the loss. It was a good game.
Wilstead led the team in scoring with 15 points with Faimalo the only other Spartan in double figures with 10 points. Jensen scored 9 points, Labrum scored 5 points, Barnett 4 points, Dyer 2 points and Jorgensen 1 point. Jorgensen led the team with 7 rebounds.
South Sevier lost in the other semi-final game to Wasatch Academy, a private school from Mt. Pleasant. Wasatch Academy is a team made up mostly of foreign players.
On Saturday, South Sevier took a first quarter lead at 16-8 and then extended that lead to 33-21 at the half. Emery roared back in the third quarter and trailed 45-43 at the end of the period. Faimalo scored 6 points in the period and Jensen and Wilstead added 5 points each. South Sevier then outscored Emery 23-19 in the final quarter to seal the win.
Faimalo scored 17 points in the game with Jensen adding 15 points. Jorgensen scored 9 points, Wilstead scored 8 points, Dyer hit a pair of three's in the second quarter for 6 points, Curtis Mason scored 3 points and Barnett and Labrum had 2 points each.
Emery had a good playoff run and thrilled the fans that traveled with them, they picked a good time to play consistent ball.