|Dave Justice plays some defense against Delta.|
In a crowded gym filled to capacity with partisan fans for each school, a basketball game was played between the Emery High Spartans and the Carbon Dinos last Friday night in Price. This was no ordinary basketball game as this was a game being played for second place in region and the opportunity to host a play-in game rather than traveling to a northern school. A fantastic fourth quarter propelled the Emery Spartans to a 55-47 victory.
Entering that final period, Carbon led the Spartans 38-33 and appeared to have the edge as both Darrin Winn and Dave Justice were playing with four personal fouls. In the first 2:32 of that period it was all Emery as they scored the first 11 points to grab a 44-38 lead. After a Carbon basket, Emery scored the next 5 points to lead 49-40 with 2:31 left in the game and the Emery crowd somehow took their partisanship to a higher and noisier level as they now anticipated a win.
Although Winn ended the game as the leading scorer with 25 points as he controlled the paint in this game, it was a pair of 3-point baskets by Josh Eden and one by Dempsey Jeffs in that final quarter that finally did in the Dinos.
With the win, Emery tied Carbon with 7-3 region records. With playing at home in the playoffs on the line, both teams met after the game to participate in a coin flip that would decide second and third place. To the winner went a home game and to the loser a road trip.
The Emery players unanimously told Coach Jeffs to call heads if he got the call and the coach said, "It's all up to you guys." So heads it would be.
With a new quarter in hand and the rules set, Carbon Coach Ted Bianco flipped the coin, Coach Jeffs called heads and the coin hit the floor and bounced off the rubber mat two feet into the air before it landed and stuck. As eyes dropped close to the floor to get a better view, heads was called and the Emery crowd erupted as they had pulled off the near impossible double win. Emery would host the game.
What adds to this story is the fact that on Wednesday night and the Delta Rabbits in Castle Dale for another region game, Emery was playing for a win in that game to stay out of fourth place. They also won that game. Final score was 63-59.
In the Carbon game, Emery stunk in the first and third quarters as they allowed the Dinos to do as they wished. The Carbon players shot from open seams in the defense, the Emery boys were hesitant in shooting and Coach Jeffs picked up a technical foul to further add to the Carbon lead. They lost those two periods 14-7 and 15-8.
But as bad as they played in those two quarters, they played fantastic in the other two.Their offense and defense both seemed to click as they won those periods 18-9 and 22-9.
Besides Winn, Justice and Jeffs both finished in double figures with 10 points each. Eden finished with 7 points, all in the fourth quarter and Vic Rosen finished with 3 points. Vic went down early in the game with a stinger in the back, but returned to the floor and finished the game even though he was in some pain. He grimaced each time contact was made, which is pretty constant for him.
In the Delta game, Emery outscored the Rabbits in every quarter but the fourth in securing the win. They led 14-11 after one, 31-27 at the half and 45-35 after the third quarter. Delta won that last period 24-18 to keep the Emery fans on the edge of their seats. Both Jeffs and Winn fouled out of the game in the third quarter.
Emery had to use rebounding to their advantage in this game, as they could not buy a three-point shot. Emery went 0-7 behind the line but had three players finish with rebounds in double figures. Winn and Rosen each had 14 rebounds and Justice had 11 rebounds.
Rosen was the leading scorer in the game as the Spartans got their points inside and the Rabbit players found themselves in foul trouble trying to defend the Emery inside game. Vic finished with 20 points, 14 of those in the second half. Winn scored 16 points, all but 2 in the first half. Justice also finished the game with 16 points.
Also scoring was Eden with 7 points and Jeffs and Kyler Edgehouse with 2 points each.
Emery now has a record of 14-6 with one game to go before the playoffs. Emery will host Grand this Tuesday night in the Spartan Center. The Spartans will then host Wasatch in the Spartan Center Saturday night at 7 p.m. for the right to travel to Weber State the next week. Wasatch currently has a record of 5-15.