|Dempsey Jeffs fights his way to the hoop.|
The Emery Spartan basketball team came through with a big win over North Sanpete to finish tied for third in Region 8 play and will now play at a Region 9 school this Saturday night as state action begins. The final score in the game was 58-53 and Emery finished the season tied with Juan Diego. Delta won the region and is ranked second in the state with a 19-2 season record and North Sanpete finished second in region play.
Just a couple of weeks ago, things did not look good at all for Emery even making the state tournament. Emery then split the week's games and life was still there. Last week, Emery had a shot and could control their destiny if they simply defeated North Sanpete and they did. So with two victories in three games, the Spartans are alive and well as playoff action is set to begin. Emery will travel to Cedar City High this Saturday night with game time set for 7 p.m.
This game was won at the free throw line and for just a minute it appeared this game could have been lost at the free throw line.
After shooting 2 for 4 at the line in the first half, Emery went 8 for 10 in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, with the game tightening up and Emery being sent to the line time after time, Emery only made four of their first 10 attempts at the line and an 11-point lead at 42-31 dwindled to 53-51. Emery closed out the game by scoring 5 of 6 at the line to get the win.
Dempsey Jeffs led the way by hitting 11 of 16 free throw attempts and finished the night with 19 points. Jordan Gee continued playing well and finished the night with 15 points including three 3-pointers. Nevin Jensen also finished in double figures for the night with 13 points. Nevin was 5 for 6 at the free throw line and also hit a pair of 3-pointers. Karson Jensen scored 8 points and Gatlan Huntington hit a 3-pointer to round out the Emery scoring.
Emery scored the first basket of the game on a lay-up by Nevin Jensen and North Sanpete tied the score. Jordan Gee then hit his first 3-pointer of the night giving Emery a 5-2 lead and Emery never trailed again in the game. Emery actually led 13-4 in the first quarter before the Hawks scored the next 5 points to finish the quarter 13-9. Gee finished with 7 points.
Emery jumped to a 24-15 lead in the second period and finished the period at 29-20. Dempsey scored 4 points and Nevin, Jordan. Karson and Gatlan each scored 3 points. Each team then scored 13 points in the third quarter. Karson and Dempsey hit field goals and everything else was at the free throw line.
Emery will now travel to Cedar for the second time this season. Emery lost a game there last December on the second night of an overnight trip that played at Cedar and at Dixie.
A week ago, the emphasis was on Emery actually making the tournament and now the emphasis is on Emery actually winning the game this week. Emery is very capable of beating Cedar City, the region 9 champion, if they will play well. If the Spartans play good defense and if the shooters score, this is a game that could be an upset win for Emery. Spartan fans think Emery has a real shot at winning this ball game.