High school basketball: Strong first half propels Emery to a win over Union
ROOSEVELT — Emery's Bailey Faimalo recorded his second double-double of the season Tuesday night with 23 points and 10 rebounds, and teammates Dillon Wilstead and Gavin McDermott added 14 and 12 points, respectively, in leading the Spartans to a 65-56 win over Union Tuesday night.
The Spartans got off to a quick start, with Faimalo assisting on two Wilstead buckets early for five points. Emery forced Cougar turnovers and got out on the break for easy baskets to take a 21-12 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Spartans kept their feet on the gas pedal in the second quarter in building a 16-point lead at the half at 33-17.
Emery undoubtedly played its best basketball of the entire season in the first half thanks largely to Faimalo getting penetration at the rim and getting easy baskets for his teammates.
“We played the best first half the year so far but struggled to take care of it in the second half,” Faimalo said.
Union came out strong after halftime and took advantage of the Spartans' sloppy play by scoring 14 straight points in the quarter to claw within four.
Emery rebuilt its lead with a run of its own to expand its lead to nine heading into the fourth quarter.
The Spartans continued to slump in the second half, however, and poor shooting made it difficult to close the Cougars out until Faimalo finished with a few key shots and free throws inside four minutes left in the game.
“We hustled to the ball and executed better on offense but we need to learn how to play with a lead," McDermott said.
En route to his team-high 23 points, Faimalo hit 3-of-4 3-pointers. Drexler Tanner added 11 rebounds, while McDermott added five rips.
The Spartans (3-2) are back in action Friday when they travel to Manti.