|Meagan Pearson plays tough defense for Emery.|
The Emery High Lady Spartans finished the region season undefeated with a win at North Sanpete last week and now prepare to defend their state title by hosting the Ogden Tigers this Friday night in the opening round of the 3-A State playoffs. The final score last Wednesday was 64-42 for the Spartans.
After having had knee surgery in the off season and missing the first month of this season, junior ShiAnne Allred was finally happy with her game contribution as she played her best game of the season. Allred scored 17 points, including a pair of 3-point shots, pulled down 11 rebounds, had 3 blocked shots and came away with 2 steals.
With having won the region title the week before, the Spartans seemed to be lacking tenacity in this game as it started. With 3:11 left in the first quarter, the score was only 6-6 as Emery was struggling just a little to score. With Allred hitting a three-pointer, Emery finally led 11-8 at the end of the period. Coach Steve Gordon challenged his team at the break to "execute, box out and everybody has to rebound."
Despite the Hawk aggressive style of play, Emery scored the first 6 points of the second quarter and won the period 24-13 despite the Emery press being ineffective. Jodi Robertson lead the way for Emery with 7 points and Michonne Robertson added 6 more points as Emery led 35-21 at the half.
In the second half, the Spartan pressure defense was more effective and Emery capitalized on the offensive end of the floor by scoring the first 11 points of the third quarter and extended their lead by seven at 51-30. Allred scored 6 points and Michonne and Meagan Pearson each scored 4 points.
Emery's bench played most of the final period and kept the pressure on and Emery won the period 13-12. Lacey Montgomery, Abbie Kay, Adriane Weihing, Tiffany Tuttle and Jenni Stinson all scored in the period.
Besides Allred's 17 points, Michonne and Jodi also finished in double figures, Michonne with 12 points and Jodie with 11 points. Meagan finished with 7 points, Abbie with 6 points and Frankie with 4 points. One of the nice things about this team is that any of the six can be the leading scorer on any given night. All shoot the ball well and all usually play within their capabilities.
Emery will now host the Region 11 fifth place team, the Ogden Tigers this Friday night at the Spartan Center. The winner moves on to the E Center next Thursday as playoff action continues and the loser is finished for the season.
As a warm up to playoff action, Emery will host Wasatch this Tuesday night in a make up game from December that was weathered out. This game very well could be a preview of the State title game. Wasatch is currently the top ranked team in the state and Emery is second or third.