Taylor Mann contends for the ball against the Juab player.
It is very unusual for any team in high school basketball to go an entire season undefeated and it turns out that these Emery High Lady Spartans will not be one of those as they lost a nail biter last Thursday to the Lady Wildcats of Richfield High in overtime 67-66. Emery had soundly defeated Juab earlier in the week 63-37.
Against Richfield, Emery led 22-8 after the first quarter and the Spartans enjoyed as much as an 18-point lead in the first half before leading 37-28 at halftime. It has been extremely rare over the past few years that Emery would lose a game when they possessed a lead such as this.
If one was to look for a cause for the loss one could start with free throws. The first stat that jumps out is the amount of free throws actually shot; Richfield shot 36 and Emery shot 16. That disparity usually spells doom for the team with the lesser amount and it did this time.
The next stat that jumps out is the fact that Richfield made 75 percent of their free throws while the Spartans only made 44 percent of theirs. Richfield shot 20 more free throws and then made 19 more of those.
The next stat that jumps out is the fact that Emery missed so many shots in the paint. The fact is, Emery missed more than one lay-up in the game and as a team they shot poorly throughout the game.
Taylor Mann had a good game as she scored 30 points, pulled down eight rebounds, dished out two assists, had five blocked shots and came up with two steals. Mann scored 12 points in the first quarter, 11 points in the fourth quarter and two points in overtime.
Jessica Murray scored eight points in the first quarter on three baskets including a pair of 3-pointers and six points in overtime with another pair of 3-pointers. Murray finished with 18 points in the game along with three rebounds and four steals.
Abbie Kay scored nine points in the game had eight rebounds and three steals. Abbie fouled out in the fourth quarter after getting into foul trouble early in the game and spent considerable time on the bench.
Tayler Jewkes, Markette Tanner and Brooke Jensen all scored three points in the game.
Against Juab, Emery and Juab really played neck and neck through the first half of basketball. With 3:57 left in the first quarter the score in the game was 4-4. Juab opened the game in a 1-3-1 zone on defense as they looked to shut down the Emery interior game and make the Spartans beat them from the outside. They were successful early on. Emery then outscored Juab 9-3 over the rest of the first period.
The second quarter was more of the same. With four minutes left in the period the score was 17-14 for Emery and then Emery led at the half 24-20. Emery hit only one 3-point shot in the first half.
Emery outscored the Wasps 7-2 to start the third quarter and led 31-22 with two minutes gone in the period. Emery then scored the next eight points over the next minute and a half and led 39-22 to put away the Wasps early in the second half. Jessica Murray hit three straight 3-pointers in the period to help Emery build their lead. Emery won the third quarter 22-9.
Apparently not satisfied with their lead, Emery scored the first six points of the fourth quarter in the first 90 seconds and then the subs for both teams started hitting the floor.
Emery, after hitting only one 3-pointer in the first half, hit seven of them in the second half. Murray had four of those and Jenni Stinson had another three.
Mann and Murray led the team with 16 points each. Mann also had four rebounds, two assists and two blocked shots. Murray also had six steals, two assists and a rebound. Abbie Kay finished with 14 points, had five rebounds, two assists and a blocked shot. Stinson finished with nine points.
Brooke Jensen scored four points and freshmen Blayr Jeffs and Jeridi Price each scored two points.
After the Juab game, Coach Steven Gordon to his team, "Our press didn't work in the first half but our man to man defense did work in the second half. We gave them confidence early on and let them hang around too long. We have got to get after it better." Emery is now 11-1 for the season and 2-1 in region play. Richfield is 12-1 for the season and 3-0 in region play. Emery will play ALA this Tuesday in Spanish Fork in a non-region game and will then resume region play at Delta on Thursday.