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High school basketball: Emery beats Carbon in an emotional game

By Hayden Johnson

For the Deseret News

Published: Thursday, Jan. 9 2014 9:30 p.m. MST

Emery was able to remain undefeated on its home court Wednesday, beating rival Carbon for the second time this season, this time at home, 67-45.

Emery fans participated in a “silent night” game where the fans remained completely silent until the Spartans scored their 10th point. When Gavin McDermott hit a push shot in the lane to get them to 10, the hometown crowd came alive, cheering and yelling enthusiastically for the rest of the game to create a great atmosphere in the Spartan Center.

“Fun game to play with the crowd being as into it as they were,” said Drexler Tanner. Emery has now reeled off seven straight wins to end non-region play in which the Spartans have gone 9-2.

Bailey Faimalo was the leading scorer for Emery with 19 points to go along with eight assists, while backcourt partner Dillon Wilstead also put up big numbers with 15 points. Gavin McDermott had another big game on Emery’s home court with 13 points and seven boards.

The game started out competitive, with the lead changing multiple times in the first quarter and the Dinos owning a narrow one-point lead after the first quarter by a score of 14-13. The Spartans came out gunning in the second with some big 3s from Faimalo, Wilstead and McKlane Allred. Emery finished with a 47 percent shooting percentage from behind the line for the game. The game also started to get a little bit chippy in the second with each team picking up technical fouls. Emery had a big run for a 19-point quarter and a 32-19 lead heading into halftime.

Emery secured the lead and never looked back after the half. It played some more junior varsity guys to give them experience, and Ridge Nielson, Tai Justice and Kevin Butler came in and played well for Emery. The Spartans increased their lead to 20 and ended the third quarter up 50-30.

The rest of the game was just a formality as Emery went into its bench as far as the freshmen to cruise to the win, much to the delight of the raucous hometown crowd.

It was an emotional game for the Spartans who lost sixth man Tyson Roper to a rare blood clot in his shoulder that prevented circulation in his body. Roper had surgery the day that the Spartans played and everyone’s thoughts were turned to their fallen teammate.

"We all knew that game ball went to Roper, so we wanted to make it an honorable game," Wilstead said. “Coach told us before at practice that we were winning it for him, and that’s what we did. He’s a missed asset,” Tanner said. McDermott added, “I was glad we came together after Roper was out and got the win.”

Many players also said they played harder than before and wanted to get the win for Roper.

Emery now enters region play on Friday with a game scheduled against San Juan on the road as it looks to continue its success.

Hayden Johnson is an aspiring sports writer. Check out his blog at hjsportsblog.blogspot.com. Follow him on Twitter @HJ_3207. Contact him at hayden@emeryschools.org.

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