Spartans give Bear River a scare at state
Bear River edges Emery, take 3-A title
Bear River High School out of Tremonton was ranked number one almost the entire just completed basketball season and came into the just concluded 3-A boys basketball tournament as the over-whelming favorite to win the championship. Emery High School, by way of having the second place region 8 seed, was bracketed to face Bear River in the quarterfinals of that tournament as a heavy underdog.
Emery and Bear River opened 3-A play Thursday morning at the E Center with a barnburner of a basketball game. Bear River defeated Emery in the closing seconds 57-51. The score was tied at 51-51 with 30 seconds left in the game. Emery had several opportunities to take the lead in the closing seconds but could not get a shot off.
Bear River also could not get a shot off but won the ballgame by hitting free throws down the stretch. With the combination of Bear River free throws and Emery turnovers, the close ball game went to the Bears. Bear River went on to win the championship with this being the closest game they would play in the entire tournament.
In the first quarter, the score was tied three times and there were five lead changes. Emery led 14-12 before Bear River closed out the quarter on a 6-0 run to lead 18-14. Colton Barnett scored six points in the period to lead the Spartan effort.
In the second quarter, Emery took the lead at 19-18, tied the score at 22-22 and then took the lead at 23-22 and won the period 14-6 to lead at the half 28-24. Emery fell behind in the third quarter at 29-28, tied the score four times and the period would have nine lead changes. Emery took the lead at 40-38 on a 3-point shot by Gatlan Huntington and tied the score at 41-41 on a free throw by Tanner Procarione before the quarter would end with Bear River up 43-41.
In the final period, Emery took the lead at 44-43 on a 3-point shot by Karson Jensen but fell behind immediately and then tied the score at 51-51 with 30 seconds left on a pair of free throws by Cameron Hansen. Emery would not score again while Bear River made four free throws and a cheap dunk shot as time ran out. Emery had the opportunity to win this game but could not get the desired result.
Karson Jensen led the effort with 14 points with Colton Barnett scoring 13 points. Gatlan Huntington scored eight points, Jason Giles added seven points, Cameron Hansen scored six points and Tanner Procarione scored threer points. Emery was 12 for 16 at the free throw line while Bear River was 13 for 17. Emery hit five 3-pointers while holding Bear River to zero.
On Friday, Emery faced Hurricane in a consolation bracket ball game and as often happens to a team that plays extremely hard the day before, the Spartans played a little flat and Hurricane won the game 48-39.
Emery led after the first quarter 11-6 but trailed at the half 20-19. Emery tied the score at 22-22 and took the lead at 23-22 but Emery would never lead again in the game. Emery trailed 35-28 after three periods before losing by nine points.
Nevin Jensen scored 11 points in the game to be the leading scorer for the Spartans. Jason Giles scored eight points, Karson Jensen scored seven points, Colton Barnett and Brett Mecham each scored six points, and Cameron Hansen scored three points.
Emery finished the season at 16-6 and as co-champion of region 8. Emery finished as the second leading scoring team in 3-A. Congratulations Emery for giving the fans a good season.