|Bowie Jeffs looks for an open man to take the pass.|
Playing his most effective ball of the season, Chandler Pearson helped lead the Emery Spartans to a pair of wins recently. Emery traveled to Roosevelt on Dec. 16 and gave the Cougars their second loss of the season with a 70-66 overtime win, on Dec. 19 the Spartans hosted Manti and gave the Templars their first loss of the season, 70-53.
Against the Cougars, Pearson had 17 points and a season high 16 rebounds. Against the Templars, Pearson had a team high 24 points, 7 assists and 5 steals. Pearson is the eighth leading scorer in 3-A basketball, averaging just over 17 points per game.
Against Union, the Spartans shot poorly, rebounded poorly, had unforced turnovers and yet found themselves still in the game. This is a sign of a pretty good team. In the first half, the Spartans shot 5 for 12 on 2-point shots and 3 for 16 on 3-point shots and 8 for 8 from the free throw line to manage a 27-26 halftime lead. In the second half, the game was tied at the end of the third quarter 37-37 and Union scored with three seconds left in regulation to forge a tie 53-53 at the end of regulation.
In overtime, Bowie Jeffs hit three straight 3-pointers and a pair of free throws to ensure the victory. Jeffs finished with 35 points, Zeke Atwood had 8 points, Matt Stucki had 5, Isaac Bawden 2, Ty Gardiner 2 and Chad Phillips 1.
On Dec. 19, Emery hosted 2-A's #1 ball club and handled the Templars with ease. Keaton Cowley, off the bench, had three straight 3-pointers to pace the Spartan first half effort. Emery led 28-24 at the half.
Emery outscored Manti 19-10 in the third quarter and 23-19 in the fourth quarter to take a 17-point win. Pearson had 20 second half points to pace the Spartans. Jeffs finished with 15 points; Atwood finished with 8 points but brought the crowd alive several times with huge blocked shots. He finished the game with six blocks. Cowley had 12 points on four 3-pointers, Stucki had 7 points, Bawden 3 and Phillips 1.
Coach Todd Jeffs after the Manti game commented, "We beat a pretty good club tonight. I thought our second half effort left them looking confused. We executed well."
Spartans Defeat Pineview
Three and a half seasons ago, Bowie Jeffs, son of Head Coach Todd Jeffs, began his career at Emery High amidst catcalls from fans that he was playing because he was the coach's son. Well they were right, he was playing because he was the coach's son and that is what makes him special. Last Friday night, in the first game after the holidays, Jeffs assisted Chandler Pearson and Zeke Atwood in leading the Spartan's to victory over the Pine View Panthers 67-57.
Despite spraining an ankle in the first half, Jeffs had 16 points and 9 assists in the win. Jeffs, who already held school career records for steals, assists and free throws made, became the leading scorer in Spartan history as he exceeded Shawn Bradley's career record and also became the leading scorer in school history behind the 3-point line as he exceeded Brandon Burke's career record. Jeffs, when asked what kind of animal he would like to be and why, responded "I would like to be a lion so I could be king and nobody could mess with me." On the basketball court, Jeffs fantasy has probably came true. Jeffs, like a lot of coach's sons, was a gym rat growing up and the dividends have paid off nicely for the school. He transformed from rat to lion and we, the fans, get the finished product.
Pearson, after a 4-point first half, scored 20 points in the second half to pace the Spartans with 24 points, 11 rebounds and 5 steals. Chandler, who has played with a sore hand all season, was the leading scorer for the third time this year. Atwood finished the game with 16 points and 2 blocks. Also scoring for the Spartans were Matt Stucki with 7 and Ty Gardiner and Chad Phillips with 2 points each.
The Spartans are now 8-2 for the season and ranked third by the Salt Lake Tribune. They play the defending 3-A champions Tuesday night in Heber City and are home Thursday night against North Sevier.