Green River's Michaela Hughes with the ball looking to score.
As the week began last Monday, Emery High had a girl's basketball team still trying to decide whom they were and how the season was maybe going to go and as the week ended maybe, just maybe, they came up with the answer. Emery had to face the number two team and the number three team in 3-A basketball, according to the Salt Lake City newspapers, and Emery needed to do well.
Emery traveled to Carbon on Tuesday night to play a rematch of the season opener and this time Emery had an opportunity to win although they ended up losing the game 58-53. On Thursday night in Castle Dale, Emery took on once-defeated Juab and came away the winner after playing a solid, almost great, game by the score of 59-51.
Against Juab, Emery played their best game of the season as they aggressively defended the entire game and ended up shooting the ball really well. Juab never had an easy opportunity to score the entire game as Emery made them earn everything they got. Jessica Murray and Taylor Mann each came away with three steals in the game to lead the team but the defense was much more than that as they made the Wasps work hard to get off a shot.
Offensively, Emery made 50 percent of their 2-point shots, nearly 50 percent of their 3-point shots and 78 percent of their free throws in the game. This came as they worked the offense and took shots in context of that offense.
Mann was the dominant force in the first half for Emery as she had 17 points and the team did a good job of getting her the ball. Murray came out after the half and scored the first seven points of the half on three nice shots and then ended up scoring 18 points in that second half as her shooting confidence was quite evident. Mann then scored eight points to close out the game and Emery got the hard fought victory. Mann ended the night with 27 points.
Emery won every quarter in the game as they played a very consistent game. Emery led 14-12 after the first quarter and then 25-20 at the half. Behind Murray's scoring, Emery took their third quarter lead to 38-24 before turnovers slowed the Spartans down. Emery led after three 40-33.
Also scoring in the game were Tayler Jewkes with six points on two well placed 3-point shots, Blayr Jeffs with six points and Brooke Jensen with two points on a pair of free throws. Jeffs led the team with five assists; Mann led the team with five rebounds and with four blocked shots.
After the game Coach Steven Gordon praised his team, "We played really hard tonight, we jumped on them at the half and came out and played really well. This was a good game, we have got to continue from here." The girls are excited to go to Delta next week and play the number one ranked team.
Against Carbon, Emery had their opportunities but in the end, the game slipped away from them. Tia Pappas scored 29 points for the Dinos including 15 in the final quarter. She went 10 for 12 from the free throw line in that final period. Emery only made nine free throws in the entire game. Mann fouled out midway through that final quarter. Jensen, Murray and Jeridi Price all finished the game with four fouls each.
Mann scored 16 points in the game, pulled down six rebounds, came away with four steals and blockedt two shots. Jensen also scored 16 points and she pulled down 11 rebounds and blocked two shots. Murray scored 10 points and dished out four assists. Price scored five points, Jeffs scored four points and Jewkes scored two points.
Emery travels to Delta on Tuesday and to Manti on Thursday as region 12 action continues this week. Varsity game time is 7 p.m. each night.