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Lady Spartans take the sting out of Lady Wasps

Taylor Mann puts up a shot against Wasatch.

Sports writer

"That was a good effort out there tonight," said Coach Steven Gordon to his players just after they defeated the Wasatch Lady Wasps at the Spartan Center in the first round of the 2011 3-A state playoffs. Emery easily won this game 61-41. With the win, Emery advances to the state tournament site next week at the University of Utah.

Coach Gordon continued, "Way to come to play hard, we moved the ball well tonight, we helped each other, that was a great team effort.

Congratulations." Emery stifled the Wasatch offense all night long as the Emery players were everywhere and very seldom did the Wasps get a clear opportunity to get off a shot.

The only thing that kept this game from being a wider margin was actually the Spartans themselves. They appeared a little jittery to start the game and missed many a shot attempt that normally would have gone in. This is about the biggest negative that one could say about the game.

Offensively, Emery still shot the ball well despite the missed lay ups and three Spartan players finished in double figures. Taylor Mann led the team with 20 points followed by Brooke Jensen with 17 points and Jessica Murray with 16 points. All three played less than three quarters of the game.

Wasatch tried to deny Emery the inside game, very ineffectively, as the Emery post players still led the team in scoring. As they doubled or tripled down, the ball was kicked out and Jessica did a good job of hitting the outside shot. Murray had four 3-pointers in the game.

At halftime, with the Spartans leading 33-19, Gordon told his players, "That was good hard nose defense out there, defense is where we will win this game. We can't leave any shot uncontested, so get there."

Emery went on an 11-4 run to start the third quarter, got the lead to 44-23 and then coasted home with Wasatch never threatening. Murray scored eight of those points in that quarter to lead the team.

Mann, besides leading the team in scoring, pulled down nine rebounds and blocked two shots. Jensen led the team in rebounding with 10 rebounds and Brooke dished out three assists. Murray, just as it has been all season, was given the task of defending the best Wasatch player and Jessica did a good job of shutting her down.

Tayler Jewkes scored six points, had six rebounds, nine assists and four steals. Blayr Jeffs scored two points in the game, had three rebounds, five assists and two steals. Jeridi Price was the only player of the bench to score and she finished the night with two points at the free throw line.

Other winners last Saturday night in the first round of 3-A girls play were Canyon View defeating Judge 47-32, Carbon defeating Richfield 50-39, Cedar defeating Juan Diego 48-32, Delta defeating ALA 63-30, Hurricane defeating Bear River 64-56, Juab defeating Union 53-37 and Morgan defeating North Sanpete 72-21. Regions 9 and 12 each placed three teams into the final eight with regions 10 and 11 each placing one. Those two teams, Morgan of region 11 and Carbon of region 10, are the favorites to meet for the title as the tournament progresses.

They were ranked one and two in both of the Salt Lake papers as the season ended.

Region 12 teams could be hard to beat out though because they have had to fight throughout the season in a much tougher region. The six teams that Emery lost to during the season are still in the fight with most of those losses being close and coming on the opponent's home floor. Emery will open against Morgan in a game that will start at 4:10 pm this Thursday. The winner will play the winner of the Hurricane-Juab game on Friday at 12:50 pm and the loser will play the loser of that same game at 9:30 am Friday morning.

Delta will play Cedar and Carbon will face Canyon View in other second round games.

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