Jessica Murray scores on a lay-up in the contest against Juan Diego as team-mate Brooke Jensen follows her in.
The Emery High Lady Spartan basketball team opened season play with a 70-33 lopsided victory over the North Sanpete Hawks last Thursday night in Castle Dale and are still perfect for the season with a 10-0 record. Emery is regarded as one of the premier teams in the state of Utah, not only in 3-A basketball, but also in any classification. Emery also defeated Juan Diego in their last preseason game 65-43.
Talking with Coach Steve Gordon before the North Sanpete game, he was quite nervous about the upcoming event. Fortunately for us fans his apprehension was unfounded as the Spartans made short work of the visiting Hawk team.
Emery fell behind 6-1 to start the game, which forced an early Spartan timeout. After the timeout, Emery played a reinvigorated half-court press that quickly changed the tide of the game. Emery took the lead at 7-6 and never looked back. After that initial deficit, Emery outscored the Hawks 19-2 in the first period. Junior post player Taylor Mann paced the team with 10 points. Junior Jessica Murray added five points in the effort.
Emery continued the rout in the second quarter as North Sanpete was able to only score four points until a last second 3-pointer went in. Those points only came after Emery turnovers as the Spartan defense completely took the Hawks out of their offensive game plan. Jenni Stinson scored nine points in the second quarter to lead Emery to a 39-15 halftime lead.
Emery opened the third quarter with an 8-2 run and won the period 18-9. Abbie Kay and Mann each had nine points in the period.
Taylor Mann scored 22 points to lead the Spartans but Taylor also pulled down nine rebounds and had three blocked shots. Abbie finished with 15 points, 11 rebounds, five steals and two blocked shots. Jessica Murray continued with her excellent play and finished with 10 points, nine steals, seven assists and three rebounds. Jenni also finished in double figures with 12 points.
Also scoring in the game were Brooke Jensen and Markette Tanner with four points each, Jeridi Price with two points and Blayr Jeffs with one point.
Against Juan Diego, Emery continued shooting the ball well and finished the game more than 50 percent shooting, even behind the 3-point line. No starter was less than 50 percent while Jessica finished at 75 percent shooting. Emery won the first period 13-7 and the second period 24-8 as they led at the half 37-15.
The success of this Emery team can be traced to great team defense and to an efficient but deadly offensive scheme with a team of players that can all shoot the ball well.
Tayler Jewkes became the first Spartan this season to be the leading scorer in a game besides Mann or Kay. Jewkes was five for five behind the 3-point line and scored 17 points in the game. Tayler is Emery's point guard and does an excellent job of getting the ball down court and the Emery team into their offensive scheme.
Mann and Kay were right behind Jewkes in scoring and both finished in double figures. Abbie scored 13 points, pulled down 11 rebounds, had seven steals and blocked three shots. Taylor scored 14 points, had nine rebounds, two blocked shots, a steal and an assist. The two inside players for Emery have a complete game and seem to bring it every night.
Brooke scored eight points in this game and had three rebounds. Brooke is 6'1" tall and fills in admirably for Mann and Kay. Murray scored seven points in this game and also had four steals, four assists, three blocked shots and a rebound. Stinson and Price each scored two points in the game.
The Lady Spartans now host Juab this Tuesday and travel to Richfield on Thursday night for a big region contest.
Richfield won the 2-A state title last season.