Colton Barnett works hard against the Skyhawks in Salem.
Karson Jensen, 24, puts one up for Emery.
Tanner Procarione shoots for Emery against Hawks.
Nevin Jensen lays one up and in for the Spartans.
Jason Giles plays for Emery against the Skyhawks.
Cameron Hansen brings the ball down court for the Spartans.
With playing both the Hawks and Skyhawks in the same week, I should be able to use the word claws and clawed in the story to describe the play but the best I can do is to say that the Spartans flew past the Hawks and never let them get their claws out.
Against Salem Hills, I can say the Emery clawed their way back into the game and lost by a feather. Scores were 72-48 Emery over North Sanpete and 59-57 Salem Hills.
The Salem Hills game was a heart breaker. Emery and Salem played to a first quarter 15-15 tie in a tough, hard-fought period. Emery tied the score four times and led once. Salem took the lead five times in the period as the two teams went back and forth at each other.
Emery grabbed the early lead in the second quarter and led 21-18 but then the Skyhawks took control and grabbed a 33-21 lead as the Spartans were outscored 15-0. Turnovers and missed shots just did not bounce Emery's way.
The third quarter belonged to Emery as they outscored their opponent 16-11 as each of the starters had at least a basket in the period and played well together.
In the fourth quarter, Emery tied the game at 46-46 and 48-48 but could never actually grab the lead. Each time Salem came back down and scored the go ahead bucket. Karson Jensen hit a shot to tie the score at 55-55 and Nevin Jensen hit a free throw to tie the score at 57-57 but the lead evaded them.
The Spartans had opportunities but were only four for nine at the free throw line in the final period and a couple of misses would have given Emery the lead. Salem Hills was only three for six from the line in the final period though.
With time running out, Emery forced the Skyhawks into taking a bad outside shot but Emery missed the rebound and a Salem player laid it back in and Emery had .2 of a second left to get the ball down court and score and it didn't happen. Emery lost a gut-wrencher on a good team's home floor and the Spartans know they should have won.
Karson led the team with 16 points including eight of them in the final period. Nevin also finished in double figures with 13 points with seven of them in the final period. Emery won the period 16-15.
Also scoring for Emery were Gatlan Huntington with eight points, Colton Barnett with six points, Cameron Hansen with five points, Jason Giles with four points, Tanner Procarione with three points and Brett Mecham with two points.
Earlier in the week, Emery hosted North Sanpete and won 72-48 as four Spartans hit for double figures.
Emery won the first quarter 17-6 after finishing the period on a 12-0 run and the second quarter 25-7 after starting on a 12-2 run to lead 42-13 at the half. With the bench getting lots of playing time in the second half, Emery was outscored 35-30 but still got the easy win.
Giles scored 10 points in the opening quarter to lead the team. Cameron Hansen and Barnett each had seven points in the second period to lead the team. Tanner Procarione scored 10 points in the fourth quarter to pace the Spartans.
Hansen finished as the leading scorer with 16 points and Giles scored 15 points. Procarione finished with 12 points and Barnett scored 10 points. Nevin scored fivepoints. Gatlan and Brett each scored three points in the game. Karson, Tayler Tanner and Derek Tuttle each scored two points in the game.
Emery is home Wednesday night against Juan Diego and home Friday night against Carbon.