CASTLE DALE — Emery won an important region game against South Sevier on Friday 52-37. The Spartans continued their home-court dominance and are undefeated at home this season. Emery, which lost to the Rams earlier in the year, needed this win to help improve its spot in Region 15 standings and its seed in the state playoffs.
McKlane Allred had a good performance with 17 points with five 3-pointers and Bailey Faimalo played well after going out in the second half against North Sevier in the previous game with 11 points and nine assists.
Allred said, “I was just relaxed and shot with confidence. As a team we are really playing how we need to, and we need to just get hot going into postseason play.”
Emery surprisingly suffered a slow start after coming out of the gates strong throughout the rest of the season. The Spartans were unable to get out to shooters, and the Rams hurt Emery from beyond the 3-point line. South Sevier got out to an early 11-8 lead to end the first quarter.
Allred sparked the offense in the second quarter, where he had three of his five threes. Emery’s team defense tightened up and the Spartans were able to force steals and contested shots. Emery led by eight, 28-20, to end the half.
Both teams had ugly offensive performances in the third quarter. Emery only put up a season-low two points in the entire quarter while the Rams only managed five. Not only poor offense, but stifling defense by both teams led to such a low scoring quarter, and Emery finished the quarter up 30-25.
Emery played much better in the fourth quarter. Defensive intensity led to steals by the guards for easy layups, and pounding the ball down low on offense got the Spartans out of their funk. Emery was able to get up by 12 after back-to-back dunks from Beau Roundy, but after an amazing 17-point comeback in Monroe by South Sevier earlier in the season, the Spartans didn’t want to take any chances. They came out and had a big 22-point half that fueled them to the win.
This game was imperative for Emery as far as region standings, and it was also good for the Spartans to get the monkey off their back after losing the last four matchups with the Rams.
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Drexler Tanner said, “We just need to keep it a day at a time. We’ve put ourselves in a position where we have to really focus on the moment. This game does us a huge favor to get a better playoff game. We just need to take care of Grand and take it one game at a time from there.”
Emery plays Wasatch Academy next Friday at home in the Spartans' last home game of the season.
Hayden Johnson is an aspiring sports writer. Check out his blog at hjsportsblog.blogspot.com. Follow him on Twitter @HJ_3207. Contact him at email@example.com.