|Jodi Robertson heads down the court trying to catch up to the pass.|
It definitely was not their finest hour but the Emery High Lady Spartans ended up with another victory that continued to show just how good this team could really be. Emery defeated Ogden in their first round 3-A state basketball game by a score of 53-29.
Although the final score indicates a blowout win for the team, if you were in attendance at the game, you know otherwise. With 5:44 left in the third quarter, Emery finally scored for the first time in the quarter on a free throw by Jodi Robertson to only lead 25-22. Emery did not hit a field goal in the period until there was only 3:22 left in the period. That was on a shot by Meagan Pearson. Emery had the lead but there was doubt still as to the outcome of this game even as the third period ended. Emery should have blown this team out early but instead allowed them to hang around far too long.
Besides not shooting well, the Spartans also turned the ball over 22 times in the game. Every quarter of the game started with Emery turning the ball over in their first possession of the period. Coach Gordon even pulled all his starters in the first half to try and convince them to play a little better.
After the game, Gordon talked to his players, "Well, we survived. We are lucky that we played that team. I am disappointed in our lack of effort, in our lack of energy and in our lack of defense. We have got to mentally prepare ourselves better if we want to win against those teams that are left."
Ogden led after the first period 14-8, as Emery could not get anything to go in the hoop. They shot less than 20 percent for the period. Emery won the second quarter 16-6 but only led at the half by a score of 24-20. ShiAnne Allred had three baskets in the period to lead the team. The vaunted Emery press was virtually ineffective.
The Emery defense picked up in the second half as the Spartans held the Tigers to 9 points in the half. After only scoring 8 points in the third quarter, the Spartans finally woke up and scored 21 points in the final period to give the false impression that this was another easy victory if you knew only the final score.
Jodi Robertson scored 8 points in that final quarter to end up leading the team with 14 points in the game. ShiAnne ended the game with 10 points to also end up in double figures. Meagan had 8 points, Michonne Robertson scored 6 points, Frankie Komar scored 5 points, Abbie Kay and Jenni Stinson each scored 3 points and Lacey Montgomery and Sierra Bridgewater each scored 2 points.
Coach Gordon went on to say "We ended on a good note. We moved the ball a little better at the end of the game. We did better in the fourth quarter."
Although a win is a win, it would be better for us fans if the Spartans would kick in their effort just a little earlier, like say the first quarter.
Earlier in the week, the Spartans hosted undefeated Wasatch in a make-up from December. Weather prevented Wasatch from driving the canyons and the game was postponed. The teams were ranked one and two in the Salt Lake papers at game time. After leading 28-24 at the half, the Spartans failed to play as well in the second half and Emery lost the game 61-53.
Emery only scored 2 points in the first five minutes of the third quarter. After leading 30-24 with 3 minutes gone, Wasatch scored the next 7 points to grab their first lead of the game. Emery would never lead again.
Frankie led the team with 17 points including 8 points in the final period. Jodi scored 14 points, ShiAnne scored 7 points, Michonne scored 6 points, Meagan scored 5 points and Abbie scored 4 points.
Emery will now play this Thursday at the E Center at 4:10 p.m. as they return to the state tournament to defend their title. Although there are at least six quality teams remaining of the eight teams still playing, a rematch of the Wasatch-Emery game for the title this year is a distinct possibility. Emery will open with Judge Memorial on Thursday with Morgan and Canyon View in the same bracket with Emery. Carbon opens with Wasatch and Grantsville will play Hurricane.