The Emery High Boys basketball team lost their last preseason game last week at Springville before ending the week with a victory at Mt. Pleasant over the North Sanpete Hawks. Against the 4-A Red Devils, Emery lost a close and up tempo contest 80-72 on Tuesday night. Friday night saw Emery open region with a 64-56 win.
In the region opener, North Sanpete's early defensive strategy was to double team Emery center Darrin Winn and deprive him of the opportunity of beating them. Their game plan had initial success, as Winn was limited to 4 points in the first half of play. Winn's double team led to teammate Vic Rosen being left open and Vic made the Hawks pay as he scored Emery's first 7 points of the game.
Although North Sanpete threw a full court press against the Spartans, Emery never really seemed bothered by it and the Emery ball handlers kept turnovers to a minimum all game.
Dave Justice found himself in early foul trouble and the point guard had to spend considerable time on the bench. Sophomore Dempsey Jeffs moved to the point position and, although styles are different, Dempsey handled the ball with great success.
Emery won the first quarter 14-12 and the second quarter 20-18 to take a 4-point to the half. After allowing North Sanpete to win the third quarter 10-11, Emery came back strong in the final period to win it 20-15 and the game by 8 points.
Despite having a slow start, Winn came on strong and finished the game as Emery's leading scorer with 23 points. Justice scored 11 points, Josh Eden and Rosen finished with 9 points each. Jeffs finished with 7 points and Kyler Edgehouse, I am not sure why a big city paper wants him to be Edgehorse, scored 5 points to round out the Emery scoring.
As befits a team that is being aggressively defended, Emery went to the free throw line 37 times as opposed to 13 for the Hawks. Emery was successful 24 times.
In the previous game against Springville, Emery Coach Todd Jeffs found out about playing without key players, as the Spartans were now the victim of the official's whistle. Eden picked up three fouls in the opening quarter and Winn had four fouls in the first half.
Although Springville figured that they could not shoot the ball fast enough, Emery stayed right with them and played well against the 7-2 squad.
The score at the end of the first period was 25-23 Springville. Springville used a big second quarter to lead at the half 44-34. Emery outscored their opponent 15-12 in the third period before losing the final quarter 24-23 to lose the game by 8 points. Emery finished the preseason with a 7-3 record.
Balanced scoring propelled the Spartans in this game. Winn led the team with 17 points, Justice had 16 points, Eden 15 points, Jeffs 13 points and Rosen had 8 points. Emery went to the line 14 times less than Springville.
Also winning last week in region play were Carbon and Juan Diego. Carbon defeated Granite 51-32 while Juan Diego defeated Delta 48-32. Juan Diego and Granite will be in the Spartan Center this week trying their best to defeat the home team. Juan Diego is thought to be the main opposition to Emery winning a region title. They are here on Wednesday night while the Farmers are here Friday.