|Jenni Stinson was the leading scorer against Canyon View.|
It was a strange 3-A girls basketball tournament. The first two teams eliminated from the competition were teams ranked 2nd and 3rd in the state. Three of the four region champions lost on opening day. The other region champ, who happened to be undefeated and ranked number 1, barely survived against the team that had the most regular season losses of any in the tournament. It was a strange tournament indeed.
And now to the story of our Emery High Lady Spartans. The reigning 3-A champions came into the tournament believing that they had as much right to leave as the winner as anybody. They were a veteran team that everyone expected to challenge again for the title as they had done the past two seasons. And then came Judge Memorial.
Emery and Judge faced off in the opening game of the tournament, with Emery winning Region-8 and Judge finishing second in Region-10. Emery was a veteran squad and Judge was a younger team. Emery led after the first quarter at 12-8, at the half at 26-20 and then in the third quarter at 32-21 to have Emery's biggest lead of the day. And then the game changed.
Judge would outscore Emery 16 to 5 during the rest of that third period. Emery could not get a shot to go in nor could they stop what Judge wanted to do. Emery then would take a 7-point lead in the fourth quarter but could not hold onto that lead. Emery had had many opportunities to put this game away but had simply refused to do so.
Emery lost this game in the final minute of play. Emery was leading 53-51 with 1:05 to go in the ball game. Emery had the ball. Meagan Pearson, who had already sunk five 3-pointers in the game, shot another and missed. Jodi Robertson, playing with four personal fouls, came down the center of the lane, garnered the rebound and was fouled as she was ready to go back up with a shot or so it seemed. The official saw things differently. The official, even though Jodi had the ball in both hands and the Judge player had her arm draped over Jodi's body, called a foul on Jodi. First bad call. As Jodi walked off the court, the same official called her for a technical foul. Second bad call. Now instead of Emery shooting free throws, Judge shot four free throws, made all four and then Judge got the ball back. That was a devastating sequence for Emery. Emery did tie the game at 58-58 but a foul sent Judge to the line again to regrab the lead. Emery's final opportunity went away when, on an entry pass from Frankie Komar, the intended recipient, ShiAnne Allred was leveled by two Judge players and this time no foul was called. Game was over and Emery could only stand and stare in disbelief.
|Jodi Robertson goes up for shot in the Judge game.|
This game should not have been close; Emery should have won this by double digits so they have no one to blame but themselves. But any official should never decide the outcome of a game and on this day, this official did. Lest you think I am prejudiced, all in press row also saw it my way plus a video confirmed my description of the action. The Salt Lake Tribune called it a "questionable foul." They were being nice. The Deseret News called it a "highly controversial call."
Emery lost the game 61-58. The loss not only kicked Emery to the consolation bracket, it appeared that the loss also took all the energy out of the starters and they then lost the next day to Canyon View 44-30.
Meagan Pearson sparked the Spartan effort with her 5 of 7 3-point shooting and her 22 points. Meagan also pulled down 4 rebounds and had 3 steals. Michonne Robertson scored 12 points and grabbed 9 rebounds. Jodi Robertson and Frankie Komar each scored 10 points. Frankie had 4 rebounds and 6 assists while Jodi had 2 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals while harassing Judge's best player on defense. ShiAnne Allred scored the final 4 points for the team and had 5 rebounds and 2 steals.
In the game, Emery was 2 of 3 from the free throw line in the first half and 3 for 5 from the line in the second half. Judge was 2 of 3 from the line in the first half, but was 17 for 26 in the second half. Emery was called for 15 second-half fouls plus the technical. Emery never intentionally fouled in this game. Good officiating, you decide.
In the Canyon View game, Emery only shot 17 percent from the field in the first half as they dug a hole that they could not escape from. They also only shot 16 percent from the free throw line in that half of play. Emery was out rebounded 42-23. Jenni Stinson, in her seven minutes of play, was the leading scorer in the game with 8 points.
Komar and Pearson finished with 7 points and Allred, Michonne, Sierra Bridgewater and Abbie Kay each scored 2 points.