Lady Spartans #2: Spartans shine at state
It doesn't come any closer than this but yet it feels so far away. One point, one lousy point is all that kept Emery High away from another championship in basketball. The Emery High Lady Spartans lost the championship game to Wasatch 32-31 last Saturday evening at the E Center in West Valley City.
After an opening basket by ShiAnne Allred, Emery went on a 9-2 run to start the game. Junior Abbie Kay owned the inside as she controlled rebound after rebound and put up 7 points in the first quarter. Emery continued to roll in the second quarter and Emery built a lead at the half of 22-16. Everything appeared to be going Emery's way in the first half.
The second half was a different story. All of a sudden, turnovers became a problem. All of a sudden, scoring points became a problem. All of a sudden, getting off shots became a problem. And just like that Wasatch had their first and only lead of the day and it came when it mattered, at the end.
Emery held Wasatch to 8 points in each of the four quarters as the Spartans played great defense all game long. But after scoring 22 points in the first half, Emery could only manage 9 points in the second half of play and that was one point not enough.
Head Coach Steven Gordon after the game, "We had too many turnovers in that second half. We couldn't make a pass; we did not take care of the ball when we needed to. We had open people but for some reason we could not get the ball to them. The girls played their guts out though." The team only had 13 turnovers in the game but most came in the second half of play.
The team did play hard but struggled with remaining loose in this game. Emery shot 58 percent in the first game on Thursday and then shot 51 percent in the semi-final game on Friday. On Saturday, the percentage dropped to 36 percent and that was enough to lose the game.
At the beginning of the season if you would have told Emery that they would be one of the two best teams in the state everyone might have said yippee. But when it gets to the end and you are one of the best two, you really want to be the best one and win it all. The team thought that they would rather lose by 20 than to lose like this, it might be easier to accept.
Abbie had 16 points in the game and pulled down nine rebounds, had two steals and a blocked shot as she sent notice that she will be a force to be reckoned with as a senior next season. Jodi Robertson scored seven points, had three rebounds and a steal and harassed Kim Parker, Wasatch's best player and a signee at BYU for next season, defensively and held her to 13 points. Allred scored four points and Frankie Komar and Taylor Mann each scored two points.
Emery opened the tournament with a relatively easy 63-52 win over Morgan on Thursday evening. Although Emery led 48-28 after three periods, they felt they had to permit Morgan to score the first seven points of the final period and nine of the first 11 to make it interesting. Emery took the lead at 3-0 for the first lead of the game and then took the lead at 9-8 and never let go of it.
Four Spartans finished the game in double figures for scoring. Jessica Murray had three 3-pointers in the first half and finished with 14 points, four rebounds and two assists. ShiAnne Allred scored 13 points with nine of those coming in the third quarter, had 11 rebounds, two steals and a blocked shot. Abbie also scored 13 points with nine of those coming in the first quarter. Frankie scored 12 points, had two rebounds, four assists, two steals and a blocked shot. Taylor Mann came off the bench with seven points and seven rebounds. Jodi scored four points and had two steals.
In the semi-finals, Emery faced the favored Judge Memorial team, took the lead at 6-5 and never gave it back as the Spartans won 47-39. Jodi Robertson scored six points in the first quarter and Emery led 10-5. Jodi would lead the team in scoring with 15 points and also had four rebounds. Abbie had 14 points, had five rebounds, four steals, two blocks and an assist. ShiAnne scored five points, pulled down eight rebounds, had four steals and an assist. Frankie also scored five points and had two rebounds and two assists. Taylor Mann scored four points and Jessica scored three points.
Emery finished the season 19-5, won region 8 and finished second in state.
Not a bad season but oh so close to being a perfect season. Congratulations Lady Spartans, we are proud of you.