|TThe Lady Spartans get pumped to play a great game.|
The Lady Spartans of Emery High won two big basketball games last week to finish region play with a 5-3 record and season play with a 10-9 record. After defeating the North Sanpete Hawks 68-57 on Tuesday, the Spartans came out on Thursday and handed the Lehi Pioneers their only region loss of the year 59-46. This was only Lehi's second loss of the entire year. The Spartans tied with the Carbon Dinos for second in region play and earned the second seed with a coin toss win. This toss puts the Lady Spartans at home this weekend instead of on the road.
On Tuesday, the Spartans led the entire game after opening with a first quarter six-point lead. Jennifer Nielson with five points and Amber Gardner with four points paced the Spartans. Behind Mackell Huntington's nine, second quarter points and Natalee Hanson's eight points, the Spartans increased the lead at the half 36-27.
Gardner added 13 points in the second half to pace the Spartan second half effort. Hanson and Casey Murray also kicked in six points each in the half. Gardner finished with 23 points, Huntington finished with 16 and Hanson with 14.
Against Lehi, the Spartans battled the Pioneers evenly during the first quarter and then took a four point lead at the half 21-17. Nielson led the Spartans with 10 points.
Huntington had eight third quarter points and Gardner six as the Lady Spartans increased the advantage to six at the end of the third quarter 38-32. Emery scored the first eight points of the quarter before Lehi rallied to narrow the gap.
The fourth quarter belonged to the Spartans again as they outscored the Pioneers 21-14 for the 13-point victory. Four Emery starters finished the game in double figures, led by Huntington with 16, Nielson with 15, Gardner with 14 and Hanson with 12.
The Lady Spartans will be at home this weekend for the first round of the state 3-A playoffs. They play Saturday night at 7 p.m. against probably Park City in the Spartan Center.