|Karson Jensen goes up for the tip off.|
It was a good week for basketball for the Emery Spartans even though they lost a game at Delta on Wednesday. It is not that losing is good but sometimes how you lose can make a difference. Emery lost at undefeated Delta 50-45. Emery then finished out the week with a win over rival Carbon High in Price. Final score was 63-52.
Before the Delta game, rumor on the street had it that Coach Jeffs had told his players that "we are going to Delta and they are undefeated, we might as well not even go since they are going to win anyway." Mind games, I am sure it was and it almost worked. With less than two minutes to go, Emery had the ball and was up by three. With less than a minute to go, the game was tied and Emery again had the ball. But luck was on Delta's side, not Emery's, and Delta survived at home.
On Friday night, Emery went to Carbon and got their first region win of the season. In this game there was an unlikely hero. After getting his first significant varsity time in the Delta game, junior Skyler Jorgensen made the most of his minutes. With about a quarter and a half gone and Emery nursing a three-point lead, Jorgenson entered the game. In Emery's first possession, Skyler hit a three-point shot from the right corner. Fifteen seconds later, he hit another three-pointer from the exact same place and fifteen seconds after that Skyler scored a fast-break lay-up to help Emery get to an 11-point lead. It seemed that spark made all Emery players play harder.
After a 12-11 first quarter, Emery used Jorgensen's points and 6 points by Karson Jensen and a three-pointer by Dempsey Jeffs to lead at the half 29-18. Emery led 33-20 in the third quarter before Carbon made a run and got the lead to 7 points. Emery then outscored Carbon 10-5 to end the period. Dave Justice scored six points in the period and dished out 4 assists to have a hand in all the Spartan points.
Emery extended the lead to 50-32 before Carbon made their final run to close the 18-point gap to an 11-point gap. Kyler Edgehouse had 9 points in the final period and Justice added 8 points.
After the game, Coach Jeffs talked to his players, "It is OK to make mistakes as long as we learn from them. When you are up 15 to 20 points in the final period, you have got to snag the rebound, you have to make the free throws, you have to understand the big picture out there. We are learning, we are getting better. We are getting there." Even though the lead had dwindled, it appeared that Coach was pleased with the win.
Justice finished the game with 16 points, 9 rebounds and 12 assists. Jeffs had 6 points and 6 rebounds and Jordan Gee had 7 points and 2 steals. Karson had 12 points, 7 rebounds and an assist while Edgehouse had 9 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists. Tyler Killpack had 4 points, Jorgensen 8 points and Blake Mortensen made 1 of 2 free throws.
At Delta, Emery was down 12-5 after the first quarter. Emery was down 24-18 at the half but led 36-35 after the third period. This time Jorgensen had help in freshman Nevin Jensen. Both hit 2 three-pointers in the period to bolster the Spartans.
Delta was able to make the free throws at the end to escape with the win but the Spartans now believe they can get them on their own floor in a couple of weeks.
Justice finished with 13 points to lead the way. Nevin, Skyler and Dempsey all finished with 6 points. Karson had 5 points, Tyler 4 points, Jordan 3 points and Kyler 2 points.
Delta is a team that is undefeated so far this season and ranked 2nd in the papers. They have everybody back from last season's team including a couple of legitimate tall guys and they were playing on their own floor but yet the Spartans almost snuck one out.
Emery hosts North Sanpete on Wednesday night and travels to Salt Lake City on Friday to play Juan Diego.