Taylor Mann looks for a team member for the pass.
Last week was a good week for the Emery High Lady Spartans as they narrowed the gap in the race for the region 12 basketball title as they won both of their region games including one over the region leader, Delta. Emery, in a well-played play-off type ball game defeated the number-one ranked team in 3-A girls' basketball team 48-44 in a game at Castle Dale. Emery also ran by the over-matched Manti Templars 74-32, also at Castle Dale.
With the two wins, Emery is now solidly in second place in the region with one week to go and two games left for each team. Delta is still the favorite to win the region title with their 7-1 region record and games left with Juab and Richfield. Delta should win both of these games. Emery is right behind with a 6-2 record and games left against Richfield and North Sanpete.
Emery should also win both of these games.
Richfield and Juab are tied for third with 5-3 region records. Richfield will host Emery and travel to Delta while Juab will host Delta and travel to Manti. Richfield should lose both of their games while Juab will split their games and will end up as the third place team. North Sanpete is 1-7 and Manti is 0-8. North Sanpete should defeat Manti for the second time and grab the fifth seed that region 12 will have this season.
After the game against Delta, coach Steven Gordon complimented his players, "That was a great win with a great effort. I thought we had control of the whole game and we came ready to play. Everybody hustled their butts off, great job. This was a good, intense game and we are as good as anybody in the state when we come out and play like this. Now, we have just got to play like it."
From the opening tip-off, Emery had a special feel about them and they played together the entire game. Emery scored first in the game as Taylor Mann made a shot at the 5:01 mark of the first quarter. Delta did not score until they hit a three with 2:40 left in the period.
Delta also hit a three on their next two trips down the court and the first quarter ended with Emery leading 11-10 behind Mann's eight points.
Emery grabbed the biggest lead of the game at 27-20 and then held on to lead at the half 29-23. Emery's 2-3 zone defense did a good job of keeping Delta a little off-balance throughout the game but especially early on. Mann added six more points for Emery and Blayr Jeffs did a good job of hitting six straight free throws in the period.
Emery scored the first basket of the second half to lead 31-23 but Delta then had their way to narrow the gap to 31-29. Delta tied the score at 35-35 before Emery outscored the Rabbits over the last two minutes to lead 41-37 after three quarters. Mann scored seven more points.
In the fourth quarter, Delta scored with 5:53 left to narrow the gap to two points, hit a free throw with 2:59 left to narrow the deficit to one point. Taylor Mann hit a pair of free throws to build the lead back to three points with 2:44 left. With Delta leading by one with 33 seconds left in the game, senior Jessica Murray looked to pass, found none of her teammates open and then calmly hit a three to put Emery back on top. Jeffs hit another couple of free throws at the end to clinch the win for Emery.
Mann led the way with 23 points, 11 rebounds and two blocked shots. Murray scored nine points as she hit three 3-pointers in the game.
Murray also had three steals and two assists. Jeffs had eight points and three steals. Brooke Jensen scored four points, pulled down 12 rebounds, had three assists and blocked two shots. Shailee Stokes scored three points and Kim Oldroyd scored one point.
Against Manti, Emery rolled through Manti in the first half. Emery shot 22 for 36 from the field in the first half and 18 for 26 from 2-point land. That is 69 percent shooting from in front of the line and 61 percent from the field. That is pretty good shooting. Eight different Emery players scored in that first half as the Spartans led 51-14 at the half.
After winning the first quarter 28-13, Emery dazzled in the second quarter as they won the period 23-1.
The confidence from the Emery players oozed all over the floor. Blayr Jeffs had perhaps her finest hour as an Emery Spartan player as she hit a pair of threes, a pair of free throws and probably six of eight shooting from the field to end the first half with 20 points. Jeffs had several steals and with her quickness, Jeffs was too much for the Templar defense this night.
With Coach Gordon slowing things down in the second half, Emery only outscored their opponent 23-18 in grabbing the easy region win.
Jeffs led the way with 22 points and Mann added 19 points. Jeridi Price scored 10 points, Oldroyd and Murray added seven points each, Jensen scored six points, Tayler Jewkes scored five points and Stokes scored three points.
Emery was eight for 10 from the free throw line in the game while Manti was five for 11.