Colton Barnett plays defense for Emery against the Delta Rabbits.
Colton Barnett shoots for Emery.
Nevin Jensen handles the ball against Delta.
After starting the season 6-2 in preseason basketball, the Emery High boy's basketball team opened region 8 play with road victories over the Delta Rabbits and the Carbon Dinos. On Wednesday last week, Emery defeated Delta 53-49 in a game that should not have been that close and then on Friday night, Emery defeated Carbon 75-64.
The Emery Spartans always seem to play well on the Dinos home floor and last Friday was no different. Emery shot the ball well in the opening quarter to grab a 21-12 lead and then throughout the game maintained that lead to grab the win.
Each Emery starter scored in that opening quarter as the Spartans showed versatility and depth. Although Carbon cut into Emery's lead with a 14-12 second quarter, the Spartans were still comfortably ahead at the half 33-26. Karson Jensen led the Spartan first half effort with 12 points.
Emery started the second half where they had left off and increased their lead to 13 points after the third quarter. Nevin Jensen was huge in the period with 10 points off of two three-pointers and a pair of floaters in the lane that he always seems to shoot very well.
In the fourth quarter, Carbon shot well from the field while the Spartans responded from the free throw line. The Spartans shot 18 free throws in the period while shooting a total of 28 in the entire ball game. They made 12 of those free throws. Nevin was four for six and also sank two baskets including a 3-pointer.
Four Emery Spartans finished the game in double figures led by Nevin's 24 points. Karson Jensen scored 14 points while Jason Giles and Gatlan Huntington each scored 12 points. Also scoring for Emery were Cameron Hansen with six points, Colton Barnett with four points, Brett Mecham with two points and Tanner Procarione with one point.
At Delta, the game should have been easier than what the score indicates. Emery, while seemingly always playing well at Carbon, historically always seems to play just the opposite at Delta. And last Wednesday seemed to be the same according to Coach Todd Jeffs, "Even when we have brought really good teams over here, we have seemed to struggle. This is a tough place for us to play."
For example, in the first quarter with Emery leading 11-5, Emery turned the ball over three straight times that led directly to lay-ups for the Rabbits. In the third quarter, Emery led 38-26 before Delta scored 6 straight points. In the final period, Emery led 50-42 before winning 53-49 as Delta scored 7 of the last 10 points of the game.
In the final period, Emery led 50-42 with 2:21 left in the game. After three Spartan turnovers, Emery led 50-46 with 1:30 left in the game. Emery made 12 of 16 free throws in the period after having made two of seven in the rest of the game.
Nevin Jensen again was the leading scorer for the Spartans, this time with 20 points. Nevin was five for six at the line, made three 3-point baskets and three other baskets.
Tanner Procarione was the second leading scorer for Emery as he scored nine points. Mecham finished with seven points, Giles scored five points and Hansen and Karson Jensen each scored four points. Gatlan and Colton finished with two points each.
Emery will play at home this Wednesday against North Sanpete and then will travel again, this time to Salem to play Salem Hills. Salem Hills High is on the west side of the highway midway through town. Salem is between Spanish Fork and Payson.
The sophomore team won both games this week against Delta and Carbon. The junior varsity won in Delta, but lost to Carbon.