At the 3-A State tournament, there were Judge Memorial and seven other teams. Emery was one of those seven other teams that could have finished second. As luck would have it though, Emery played two games and lost two close games and that was that.
Emery's first game was against Region 9 champion Dixie. Emery lost that game 58-47 even though they were tied with Dixie at the end of the third quarter. Emery's next opponent was Region 11's Morgan and Emery lost that game 56-49. Late in the game Emery trailed only by a single point.
This tournament belonged to Judge. Judge won their first state championship since 1980 with the win.They defeated Tooele is the championship game. Judge, as good as they are, had Logan take them to double overtime in an earlier game.
Against Dixie, Emery had their opportunities but they could not capitalize on those opportunities. After trailing in the first quarter 15-7, Emery came out in the second quarter and tied the game twice before trailing 25-23 at the half. Dempsey Jeffs and Josh Eden hit big 3-pointers and the Emery defense was much better in the period. Dixie hit a shot at the buzzer for the lead.
The third quarter saw Dave Justice score the only points for Emery as he took the ball to the hoop three times and scored three times for Emery's only 6 points in the period. Emery's defense was impressive as they held Dixie to only four points and the score was tied at 29.
After a defensive three quarter battle, the offense came alive in the fourth quarter for both teams. Unfortunately, it came alive more for Dixie after Darrin Winn fouled out with 5:23 to go in the game. Darrin picked up two quick fouls to end his game and that let Dixie have more fun in the middle. Dixie outscored Emery 15-6 over the last four minutes, mostly on free throws.
|Dave Justice puts up a jump shot.|
Justice led Emery with 18 points, 14 in the second half. Winn ended his game with 10 points. Also scoring were Jeffs and Eden with 6 points each and Vic Rosen with 5 points.
Against Morgan, Emery trailed 50-49 with only a couple of minutes to go but was never able to score again. Morgan scored the last 6 points of the game to send Emery home. Both Justice and Jeffs fouled out of the game in the final quarter to leave Emery with no point guard for the end of the game and it showed.
Winn was the leading scorer in this game with 17 points. Jeffs was the only other player in double figures with 12 points. Rosen added 8 points, Eden had 5 points, Justice 4 points and Kyler Edgehouse had 3 points.
Emery, with a little luck, could have done as well as anyone. They had moments of unforced turnovers, times they fouled too much and shots that would not fall.
Even though we have a tendency to like winners, we really need to step back and appreciate how far this team came this year. At the beginning of the year, we would have said you are crazy if it was known that the team would win 16 games. This team had no depth, had a player coming back off knee surgery who did not play last year and a fairly tough schedule.
These guys came together and had a good season even though at times I am sure they gave their coaches heartburn with their erratic play. This team was not perfect but they were ours and we were proud of the way they played. They were overachievers and that is not a bad thing. They gave their all, they achieved much and now we say thanks.