The 2004-2005 high school basketball season for the Emery High Spartans came to sudden halt last Friday night with a 54-51 loss to the Dixie High Flyers of St. George in the first round of the state tournament.
After being down 34-25 at the half, the Spartans outscored the Flyers 13-2 in the third quarter to take a 2-point lead into the final period at 38-36. Emery played outstanding defense in that period as they held Dixie scoreless until 22 seconds were left in the period. Dixie scored their only basket off a rebound of their own missed shot to prevent being shutout.
In the fourth quarter, Dixie snuck back ahead before Emery tied the score at 43-43 with 4:39 left. Dixie then scored 8 of the next 9 points to go ahead 51-44 with only 53 seconds to go. Emery shrunk the deficit to three but was unable to overcome the Dixie advantage and now stays home from the play-offs this week at the E Center.
Since losing to Dixie in Castle Dale by 27 points in December, the Spartans were able to reverse their season and give the Emery fans, parents, students and coaches lots to cheer about. After starting the season 3-9, the Spartans finished on a 7-2 run. They won the region championship with a great victory over Lehi in the Pioneers last appearance in the Spartan Center as a member of our region.
Leading scorer in the game was Darrin Winn with 19 points on four baskets and 11 of 14 free throw shooting. Dave Justice and Joey Bernard finished the game with 11 points each. Bernard hit three 3-pointers in the first half to keep Emery in the game. Also scoring were Brad Sitterud with 6 points and Mike Blomquist with 4 points.
Emery finished the season with a 46.35 scoring average while allowing 49.55 points. Justice was the only scorer with an average in double figures at 11.15 points per game. Winn finished at 9.30, Bernard at 8.55 and Blomquist at 6.70.