With Union returning eight players that saw lots of action last season, the Emery Spartans fell in Roosevelt to the Union Cougars. Emery, with only two returning starters in Dave Justice and Darrin Winn, at times showed their potential and at other times showed their inexperience in losing the game that was both teams season opener. Also starting this season for Emery are Josh Eden, a guard that did see considerable action last season, Vic Rosen, who spent last season recuperating from a football injury and Dempsey Jeffs, a sophomore guard.
Union led this game the entire way as the Spartans could not get their shots to fall. The Cougars had a 14-5 lead after the first quarter, a 26-15 lead at the half and although Emery held Union to only two baskets in the third quarter, they still led 31-24. Both teams loosened up in the final period but Union still outscored Emery 21-20 to win the game by eight points.
In that final period, Emery did cut the lead to only four points and had the ball but could not quite get over the hump to take the lead.
Leading Emery in scoring was Winn with 13 points. Winn had six baskets and made one of two free throws. Rosen and Justice had 12 points each in the game. Vic had five baskets and was two for four at the free throw line while Justice had four baskets and was four for five at the free throw line. Jeffs added a basket and made two free throws for four points while Eden hit the only three of the night for Emery to finish with three points. Emery will only get better as they get experience playing together. They should be able to challenge for the region crown. A lack of depth could be a problem if the big guys get into foul trouble. The only other Spartans to see action in the game were Kade Jones and Kyler Edgehouse.
The roster this season includes three seniors, three juniors, seven sophomores and three freshmen.
Emery plays two more road games this week at Canyon View and San Juan before playing at home next week in the 8th Annual Coal Country Classic.