|Zeke Atwood makes things difficult for this Dino.|
Whenever these two schools have met, they have usually battled to the end before the outcome was known. Last Friday night was no different. The Emery Spartans hosted the Carbon Dinos, the seats were full of fans and they were treated to another barnburner. The Spartans outlasted the Dinos 70-61 and clinched a play-off spot to boot.
The two teams battled to a 16-16 first quarter tie that looked ominous for the host team. Emery was called for 11 fouls in that opening period versus four for the Dinos, the Emery fans were nervous to say the least. Chandler Pearson had eight points in that quarter to pace the home team.
In the second quarter, the offense started to look good and the defense was flowing as a unit and those nasty fouls stopped happening. The team outscored the Dinos 18-11 in the period and the team of old appeared to be back. Emery hit four 3-pointers in the period and seven for the half as their shooting touch returned. Keaton Cowley had three of his game high four in that first half of ball. The Spartans now led 34-27.
The third quarter provided more solid basketball and Pearson continued his big night from the high post as he had four baskets going inside. The Spartans outscored the Dinos by nine to take a 52-36 lead.
Carbon refused to play dead as they roared out in the fourth quarter and closed the gap to 57-50. The Emery fans were, at this point, a hair nervous. The Spartan players gathered themselves and outscored Carbon 13-11 in the final 3:30 of the game to take the win. Bowie Jeffs had two driving baskets in the quarter along with 6 of 6 free throws to aid the cause.
For the game, Pearson led the way with 24 points and 9 rebounds. Jeffs added 20 points, Cowley added 12 points, Zeke Atwood added 6 points and 6 blocks and Isaac Bawden, Matt Stucki and Mike Blomquist added a basket each.
After the game, Coach Todd Jeffs said, "This is something to build on. When we play that hard, good things usually happen. Tonight we had energy but we didn't always play smart, we need to work on that."
The Emery Spartans will be looking to improve their region record this week as they travel to North Sanpete Tuesday night and Delta Friday night to conclude the region schedule. Two wins should cement the Spartans in second place and give them a home play-off game. Both games are around 7 pm, right after the girl's varsity games. Good luck Spartans.