Emery basketball teams advance in state tourney
Every year there are upsets in the playoffs and this year was no exception. Teams battle throughout their region season to place in the top two in their region so that they can host a playoff game rather than travel. It is all about advantage and home court usually provides it.
This season, the Emery Spartans battled hard and won game after game to win the region with a 9-1 record and to possess an overall 17-4 record but it would do no good if they were not victorious in their home playoff game. No worries, the Spartans won 66-55 and will now advance to Utah Valley University in Orem for three days of the 3-A state tournament starting this Thursday. Emery won the game by double digits and actually led in every quarter by double digits but there was never a time until time was actually out that one could say that Emery had this game won. Emery took several decent leads throughout the game but every time the Scots would not fold and came battling back.
Emery led in the first quarter 15-5 but saw Ben Lomond hit a long 3-pointer at the buzzer to cut the lead to seven. Emery led by 11 points in the second quarter before Ben Lomond narrowed the deficit to eight points at 26-18. Emery led by 12 in the third quarter but again Ben Lomond narrowed it seven points. In the final period, Emery led 57-38 with about four minutes left and you could finally smell victory. Ben Lomond then cut the lead to 62-53 and fans were again on edge.
This game was thought to be the most competitive of all the first round matchups in the 3-A tournament this year. Although the Scots had finished fourth in their region, they had won 15 games during the season and had defeated every team in their region this season. Their region has many good teams in it.
Emery won the battle inside and easily controlled the paint throughout the entire game. Three Emery post players finished the night by scoring in double figures. Colton Barnett scored 16 points, TJ Furner scored 13 points and Tanner Procarione scored 12 points. These three also kept the Scot post players from having any affect on the outcome of the game as they also controlled the middle on defense and controlled the boards.
The game was only as close as it was because the Scot players, in the second half, could not miss on 3-point shooting. As they continually battled to get back in the game, they hit three after three. They hit eight of them in the second half, five straight after Emery had their biggest lead of the night in the last four minutes of the game. That 15-5 run made the Emery faithful nervous.
Ben Lomond finally ran out of timeouts and Emery ran out the clock to preserve a well-deserved win and to advance.
Also scoring for Emery was Nevin Jensen with 12 points, Mark Guymon and Jake Fortner with five points and Derek Tuttle with three points. Barnett pulled down eight rebounds, Procarione had seven rebounds and Furner had five rebounds. Jensen led the team with seven assists and Tuttle led the team with two steals.
Emery had 32 total rebounds while Ben Lomond managed only 23. Emery had eight steals while the Scots had three steals.
Earlier in the week, Emery played their last regular season game against Park City. Park City finished second in their region behind Wasatch.
Emery won this game 77-63.
Jensen led the team with 22 points followed by Barnett with 18 points. Guymon scored 12 points, Tuttle and Procarione scored seven points each and Ty Benson, Fortner and Furner each scored four points in the win.
Emery will face Cedar High School in the next round after Cedar traveled to Park City and defeated the Miners 52-49. In other games, Desert Hills defeated ALA 74-49, Hurricane defeated Union 69-48, Juan Diego defeated Richfield 44-37, Judge defeated Delta 71-42, Morgan defeated Juab 49-42 in overtime and Wasatch defeated Grantsville 62-34.
Emery will play Cedar at 12:50 p.m.