|Dempsey Jeffs lays the basketball in the hoop.|
After having struggled for most of this season, the Emery Spartans finally got a region win and lost a close one as time ran out against the North Sanpete Hawks in Mt. Pleasant.
Emery downed Carbon in Castle Dale by a score of 69-58 as sophomore Nevin Jensen had a good game for Emery. Nevin scored 15 points in the second quarter and another 11 points in the fourth quarter to lead Emery with 26 points.
Carbon won the odd quarters while Emery won the even quarters. Carbon won the first period 12-11 and the third period 17-7. Emery won the second quarter 28-14 and the final period 23-14 to get the win.
Emery shot the 3-point shot often and well. Nevin hit five of them in the game. Karson Jensen and Jordan Gee each hit a pair of 3Ã¯Â¿Â½s and Dempsey hit another to give Emery 10 for the game.
Gee finished the game with 15 points in maybe his best outing of the year. Karson scored 10 points, Dempsey Jeffs scored 8 points, and Colton Barnett scored 6 points and really helped the Emery cause with some great defensive play in the paint. Colton is only a sophomore but showed lots of promise as he blocked shot after shot. Tyler Killpack and Cameron Hansen each scored 2 points.
At North Sanpete, Emery shot the 3-point shot maybe as well as any team ever has but they still lost a heartbreaker. North Sanpete prevailed 87-85 over the Spartans.
Emery finished this game with 17 three-pointers. That is not a mistake; they had 17 of them things and still did not win. Not only did they score a lot of them, they shot them well. In the first half, Emery made 10 of 13 shots behind the arc as four different Spartans hit them. Dempsey paced the team as he hit all four shots that he took plus went 5 for 6 at the 3-point line to finish the first half with 17 points.
Karson hit three 3-pointers, Nevin hit a pair of them and Cameron hit one. Emery led after the first period 27-23 and at the half 45-37. Besides Jeffs, Karson and Nevin were also already in double figures for scoring with 11 and 10 points respectively.
The second half did not go as well for Emery as the smaller Spartans got pushed around inside by the bulkier Hawk team. Tyler Killpack fouled out with 4:32 left in the fourth period, Colton Barnett followed 59 seconds later and then Jordan followed 1:29 later.
North SanpeteÃ¯Â¿Â½s size advantage allowed them to get off several shot attempts each time down the floor as the Spartans could not out muscle them.
After having been down, Dempsey tied the score at 80 apiece with 2:33 left in the game as he hit another 3-point shot, was fouled and then put the free throw in for a 4-point play. With 1:57 left, Emery could have got within 1 point but a pair of free throws by Gatlan Huntington bounced out. Ten seconds later, North Sanpete turned over the ball and Cameron Hansen scored a basket and Emery trailed 83-82. Emery took the lead with :33 left on a 3-point shot by Karson Jensen as Emery led 85-84. At :17.4 seconds left, Dempsey, by now almost exhausted from the pace of the play, was fouled and missed a pair of free throws. North Sanpete scored the last three points to get the win.
Jeffs finished the game with six 3-pointers, 13 of 20 at the free throw line and 33 points. Karson Jensen finished with five 3-pointers, 3 of 3 at the line and 20 points. Nevin Jensen finished with three 3-pointers and 13 points. Gatlan Huntington had a pair of 3Ã¯Â¿Â½s and six points. Cameron Hansen had a 3-pointer and 5 points. Jordan Gee and Killpack each had 4 points.
You would be tempted to say that Emery lost the game at the line as they were 16 for 28 but that would be wrong. North Sanpete was no better as they were 18 for 38 at the line. This game was our outside shooting, which we did well, against their bulkiness inside and their many more shot attempts. Although a win would have been nice, the effort of the team was truly appreciated by the fans at the game. The effort was a total team effort and the excellent play of Tyler in the middle kept Emery in the game as long as they were.
Emery now starts the second half of region play with their eye on winning the rest of their games. They now know that they can compete. Emery hosts Wasatch Tuesday night and then hosts Juan Diego this Friday night.