Lady Spartans are the region champs
At around 8:45 p.m. last Thursday night, it was quite festive in the gym at South Sevier High School for the Emery High Lady Spartans after they defeated the host team 54-45 to grab the 2013-14 region 15 basketball crown.
Playing perhaps their best game of the season after having had one of their worst quarters of the season just two nights earlier, Emery came out in a man-to-man defense that set the tone for the night and the two teams proceeded to play a game that much resembled a play-off game that one would find in the state tournament. With that tournament only two weeks away, it is a great time to be hitting this level of play.
Going into the game Emery was ranked second in 2-A basketball and South Sevier was ranked third. This was a game featuring two heavy weights going at each other and it played out that way all night long. Players fighting their way around, through and over screens it was physical all night long and the players were both sore and exhausted when the game finally finished.
"I am so proud of them and so happy for them because they played so hard tonight. They wanted this game. This was an exciting game." Were the words coming from Coach Dean Stilson shortly after the win. Coach could not keep from grinning from ear to ear as he too was truly elated with the effort and the win and what this group of players accomplished.
Emery led 7-4 at the end of the first quarter as the two teams denied almost anything from happening on offense. South Sevier did not score in the second quarter until there was 4:48 left but Emery did not score until there was 2:16 left on the clock. Ashton Bell scored five points in the final two minutes to keep Emery on top at the half 14-13. It was low scoring because the defense from both sides was so intense.
In the second half both offenses finally made adjustments and the scoring increased although the defense only slowed because the players were tired just a little. Hannah Dyer hit a pair of three-point shots on Emery's first two possessions of the second half and the tone was set for Emery as they won the third quarter 22-13 to open up a 10-point lead.
Emery scored on six of their first nine possessions of the quarter and on 10 of their 16 total possessions.
The Spartans ended the game with a nine point win as both teams went basket for basket in the final period as Emery responded every time that the Rams scored so that South Sevier could never get on a run and get back into the game.
Dyer led the way for Emery with 21 points followed by Ashlynn Allred with 12 points, all scored in the second half. Dyer and Allred went a combined six for eight at the free throw line in the final period to help the team in the win.
Bell was next with 9 points and she also had 4 rebounds and blocked a shot as Ashton played well for the team. Paytn Jeffs and Bailey Rasmussen each scored 3 points and Jeffs led the team with 8 rebounds and she also had a blocked shot. Camrey Johnson scored 4 points and Cassidy Labrum scored a basket.
Earlier in the week, Emery hosted North Sevier and fell behind 16-7 in the opening quarter, a period that left many Emery fans scratching their heads as to who this team on the floor really was as we didn't recognize them. Emery went 3 for 11 in shooting in the period while the Wolves were 7 for 14.
Emery had a good second quarter as they won the period 23-10 to gain the lead for the first time in the game at 30-26. Allred scored 11 points in the period with most of those coming in the final couple of minutes of the period as the team closed the period on an 18-4 run.
The third quarter was won by the Wolves at 14-10 and then the two teams tied in the final period 6-6 to have the game tied at the end of regulation 46-46. Emery opened up the fourth quarter with three turnovers and five missed shots in the first four minutes of the period.
In overtime it was all Emery as they outscored North Sevier 10-3 to win the game.
Allred and Dyer each scored 14 points in this game while Rasmussen and Jeffs each scored 8 points. Bell, Kelsie Cox and Johnson each scored 4 points in the game.
Emery, now with an 8-0 region record and a 16-3 overall record, will close out the regular season with a Tuesday home game against Grand and a Thursday away game at Wasatch Academy.