Spartans advance to state tourney at Weber
Last Friday night it was all Emery as the Lady Spartans ran all over the Lady Cougars of Union High School and left a message for everyone that this Emery squad is one to be reckoned with. Final score for the game was 67-32. Emery is now one of eight remaining teams in the 3-A playoffs.
Emery left no doubt as soon as the game began that they were not taking this game lightly. Union had a very difficult time even getting the ball to half court let alone setting up to run their offense. The Emery press was that dominating, as Union did not get across half court the first seven times they had the ball. Emery won the opening period 20-4 led by Camille Fehlberg with 9 points and 4 steals. Emery as a team had 8 steals in that opening quarter and caused Union to throw the ball away out of bounds seven other times.
Union had their only bright spot of the night in the second quarter as they outscored Emery 10-8 to trail at the half 28-14.
At halftime I commented to radio listeners on Roosevelt's radio station that Union needed to do two things in the second half to get back into the game. They needed to stop the turnovers and they needed to cut the deficit in half by the end of the third quarter. They did neither. In fact Emery only made it worse.
Emery came out after the half and continued their dominating defense, as they made sure that there would be no upset this year. Alexis Swasey had a good period with 7 points, a couple of steals and a couple of rebounds in leading Emery to a 21-9 quarter. Rachel Rasmussen was also key with 5 points and 4 rebounds.
Emery continued the onslaught in the final period with more tough defense and continued scoring. Emery won the period 18-9. Coach Gordon let his reserves play most of the fourth quarter and they played with the same intensity as the normal rotation.
Emery has three freshmen that have played a key role all season on the JV team with occasional wrap-up time with the varsity team. Frankie Komar, Jodi Robertson and ShiAnne Allred saw action in that final period and they themselves outscored Union 10-9. Frankie had 5 points, Jodi had 3 points and ShiAnne had 2 points. They should be key players for Emery in the upcoming seasons.
Scoring in the game for Emery were Camille with 17 points and Alexis with 11 points as they led the way. Ashley Hansen had 10 points, along with 3 steals and 3 rebounds, to also finish in double figures.
Rachel had 7 points, Callie Seeley and Shala Pitchforth finished with 4 points each and Meagan Pearson and Tahna Merrell finished with 2 points.
Coach Gordon really had only one thing to say after the game, "Defensively, we got after it." He was right. Emery caused Union to turn the ball over 29 times in the game. No team can win with a stat like that.
Emery not only took the ball away, they deprived Union from setting up any type of offense. Emery controlled the boards and most importantly everyone on the team was committed to winning this game and they played great team ball.
The only negative for the Spartans is the apparent loss of Natalee Hanson for the playoffs. Natalee's knee brace came apart a couple of weeks ago during warm-ups prior to a game and re-injured her bad knee. We were hoping for another comeback but I guess it will not happen. Natalee gave it more than most of us would have and is an inspiration to us all with her attitude and desire. She will now have surgery to repair it for good.
The Emery girls now travel to Weber State and play Pineview in the last game of the day this Thursday. Pineview defeated Emery 43-31 last December in Washington and the Spartans will no doubt be ready for the return match. Northern officials will not tolerate the tactics employed by the Panthers on their home court. Game time is 9:10 p.m. Emery is now 18-4 while Pineview is 14-8.