Spartans crucial wins at home and on road
Oh, what a week of Emery High basketball as the boy's team ran all over the North Sanpete Hawks 61-35 on the road and then came home and defeated the Salem Hills Skyhawks 71-70 to lead region 8 with a 7-1 record and one week left of region play.
Emery entered the week's play tied with Salem Hills and Juan Diego for first place in the region but now lead the pack because of Emery's victory over the Skyhawks and Juan Diego's loss to the Carbon Dinos. Both Salem Hills and Juan Diego are now 6-2 for the season. In the final week, Emery will play Juan Diego Wednesday night and Juan Diego and Salem Hills will meet Friday night. Against the Skyhawks, with 4:21 to go in the first quarter, Emery was down 10-2 and things were not looking great for a win. Emery scored nine of the next 12 points to make it close before Salem scored the last five points of the quarter to lead 18-11 after one period.
After falling behind further in the second quarter and trailing 30-11, Emery went on a 17-2 run to trail at the half 32-28. Karson Jensen scored eight points on four baskets in that time frame. In the first half, Emery was five for 16 at the free throw line and missed the front end of a one and one three times.
Emery took their first lead since the opening basket at the end of the third quarter on a shot by Nevin Jensen as Emery won the period 23-18. Nevin and Karson each scored six points in the period and Jason Giles led the effort with seven points.
Emery scored the first five points of the last quarter in the first minute of play and with 5:03 to play, the Spartans led 62-53. With Spartan turnovers in the mix, the Skyhawks kept getting closer until they only trailed by one point. With a 71-70 score, Emery's Cameron Hansen was fouled with :04.8 seconds left in the game and went to the line to shoot two free throws. The free throws were missed but Hansen helped the cause by stealing the down court pass after the Salem rebound and the game was over and Emery won. Whew.
Nevin led the way with 18 points followed by Karson with 16 points. Jason scored 14 points with Colton Barnett also in double figures with 11 points. Cameron scored six points and Gatlan Huntington, Tanner Procarione and Brett Mecham each scored two points.
Earlier in the week at Mt. Pleasant, Emery scored the first seven points of the ball game enroute to a 12-6 first quarter lead. After getting ahead by a 19-11 score, Emery hit eight straight free throws led by Hansen's five for six to lead at the half 27-11. Emery's defense held the Hawks to only five second- quarter points. Nevin led the team with seven points in the period.
Emery came out slow in the third quarter and North Sanpete took the period 15-10 and trailed by only 11 points. After the Hawks scored the first basket of the fourth quarter to trail 37-28, Emery blitzed their opponent over the next five minutes with a 24-2 run and led 61-30 when Coach Jeffs pulled his starters.
Nevin again led the way with 17 points. Cameron added 13 points and Jason added 11 points. Colton scored eight points with Karson scoring four points. Gatlan and Tanner each scored two points and Taylor Tanner scored one point.
Emery was 17 for 20 at the free throw line in this game and then went 20 for 37 at home against Salem. After traveling to Juan Diego, Emery will close out region play with a home contest against Delta this Friday night.
A non-region contest against Union on Feb. 17 will round out the regular season. The first round of the state tournament games will be Feb. 20 for boys and Feb. 21 for girls at home sites for the first and second place teams and the third and fourth place teams in regions will travel.