Camry Johnson gets up high to try to block the passer from Enterprise.
Drexler Tanner, at left, fights for the ball.
The Utah 2-A basketball tournament concluded last weekend in Richfield without the result many Emery fans thought it might have. Enterprise defeated North Sevier for the ladies title 43-28 and Wasatch Academy defeated Enterprise for the boys' title 76-47. While everybody, and I mean everybody, figured Wasatch Academy would win the boys title, it was widely assumed that they would defeat the Spartans for the title. That same everybody also figured the Lady Spartans would become this season's 2-A title holder and having a pretty good season and returning many from last season's second-place team.
Thursday at the Sevier Valley Center was not nice to the two Emery teams. Emery, region 15's top team, played Enterprise, region 14's third place team in the final game of the day. Enterprise was the only team from the region that won the previous weekend and they won by a single point. Enterprise had a season record of 11-9 while the Lady Spartans possessed an 18-3 season record. The game looked like an easy win for Emery but unfortunately Emery never showed up for the game and Enterprise easily won the game 44-30.
It was said prior to the game "the only team that can beat Emery will be the Lady Spartans themselves," by one of the assistant coaches and that is what happened Thursday night.
The Emery boys played in the first game of the tournament Thursday morning and the Emery boys had difficulty making shots and lost the game to South Summit 62-48. In the final period Emery went 3 for 12 at the free throw line including missing the front end of a one and one. Emery went 3 for 15 behind the 3-point line and 16 for 34 in front of it. In addition Gavin McDermott and Dillon Wilstead both fouled out of the game on questionable calls.
On the boys' side, South Summit grabbed a win over South Sevier 47-45 in the third place game and Emery defeated Parowan 62-57 in the fifth place game. On the girls side, South Sevier finished third after defeating Gunnison 61-57 in double overtime and then Emery defeated South Summit 62-51 for fifth place. When you lose in the tournament it sure made a makes a difference of where you finish placement wise.
In losing to Enterprise, Emery moved to the consolation bracket where they then won two straight games. Emery defeated Grand on Friday 70-37 before playing the Wildcats on Saturday.
Against Enterprise, Bailey Rasmussen was the leading scorer with 9 points and Hannah Dyer and Ashlynn Allred were right behind with 8 points each. Bayler Griffin scored 3 points and Camry Johnson scored 2 points. Emery was outrebounded in the game 32-15. At one point in the third quarter, Coach Dean Stilson pulled his five starters as a protest at their style of play.
On Friday, Emery had an easy time with Grand but then again Grand did not play smothering defense like Enterprise had played the day before against them. Emery won the first period against the Red Devils 20-3 and then never looked back.
Twelve different Spartans scored in this game led by Dyer's 17 points followed by Johnson scoring 11 points. Allred, Rasmussen and Paytn Jeffs each scored 8 points followed by Kelsie Cox with 4 points. Ashton Bell, Cassidy Labrum and Emily Olsen each scored 3 points with Lexie Huntington and Kambrie Hinkins each scoring 2 points. Griffin scored a single point.
On Saturday, Emery scored the first four points of the game only to not score again in the first period and the Wildcats won the period 13-4. That was the only period that Emery lost as they won the second 18-9, the third 21-18 and the final 19-11 to secure the win.
Dyer scored 22 points with Allred adding 17 to pace the team to the win. Bell scored 5 points plus added 6 rebounds and 3 steals, both being team leaders for the day. Jeffs and Rasmussen each scored 4 points while Johnson and Cox each scored 3 points. Cox also had 3 steals and led the team with 5 assists. Olsen and Huntington each scored 2 points.
Against South Summit, Emery fell behind 15-12 in the first quarter and then could never regain the lead and the win. Bailey Faimalo led the team with 13 points, 6 assists and 3 steals. Dillon Wilstead scored 12 points and had 4 steals. Gavin McDermott finished with 11 points but sat a lot with four fouls after picking up three offensive fouls in the second period. Beau Roundy scored 9 points and McKlane Allred scored 3 points. It should be pointed out that Allred manned up defensively against the Wildcats and was the best player throughout the game, although he gave up around six to eight inches in height. He did a good job of harassing him and denying him the ball.
On Friday, Emery blew open a game in the second half that had been fairly tight throughout the first half. After leading 29-26 at the half, Emery won the third quarter 19-11 and final period 16-7 top secure the win over Merit Prep Academy 64-44.
Faimalo scored 22 and Wilstead scored 19 as the two Emery backcourt players were too quick and too explosive for Merit Prep to handle. McDermott scored 9, Kevin Butler scored 5, Roundy scored 4, Allred scored 3 and Jackson Jensen scored 2 points.
On Saturday, Emery played a back and forth game with Parowan before sneaking out the win. Wilstead scored 25 points to lead Emery with McDermott scoring 12 and Faimalo scoring 11. Allred added 8 points with Roundy scoring 4 and Drexler Tanner scoring 2.
For the season, several Emery players on both teams had personal stats that explained why the team did so well. For the boys' team, Bailey was the leading assist person not only in 2-A ball but in the entire state in any division. Faimalo was third in 2-A in the steals stat. McDermott was second in 2-A in rebounds and seventh in the state. Wilstead was the sixth leading scorer in 2-A this season.
For the girls, Hannah Dyer was second in 2-A in three-point shooting and fifth in overall scoring in 2-A. Allred was seventh in both scoring and in dishing out assists. Rasmussen was ninth in 2-A in rebounds and Cox was tenth in 2-A in steals. Overall it was a very entertaining basketball season for the two Emery teams and fans generally had a good time. Fans should look for another exciting season next year as the girls team only loses two seniors Dyer and Cox, but the boys team will need to regroup after losing four senior starters Faimalo, McDermott, Allred and Tanner.