High school boys basketball: No. 1 Wasatch begins march to second straight title with win over Emery

Published: Saturday, Feb. 19 2011 9:00 a.m. MST

WASATCH — There is wisdom in the saying “be careful what you wish for.”

In a valiant effort against North Sanpete last week, Emery secured Region 12’s fourth seed and what was its reward? A road game at No. 1 Wasatch (20-2, 8-0) in the first round of the Class 3A playoffs Friday night.

The Wasps, the top seed from Region 10, made short work of the Spartans in their steady march toward a second-straight 3A title with a 79-55 win.

With the win, the Wasps remain unbeaten in “The Nest” where they began play in the 2009-10 season.

Although Emery stayed within reach during the first quarter, the Wasps turned up the heat in the second quarter and led 35-15 by the end of the first half.

Wasatch’s early dominance once again allowed it to spread the wealth of playing time and scoring opportunities. Eighteen players took the floor for the Wasps and 12 contributed to the final tally of 79 points.

After going scoreless in the first quarter, Wasatch’s Mike Brown led all scorers with 18 points, and the remainder of Wasatch’s deadly scoring trio not far behind: Matt Pelo finished with 16 points and McKay Murdock, who hit three 3-pointers, put up 12 points.

Together, Brown, Pelo and Murdock are averaging 46 points per game.

Emery also had three players score in double digits led by Nick Stoddard with 14 points, including 8 of 8 from the foul line, while Ty Benson and Kash Jewkes each had 12 points for the Spartans (9-13).

“It feels really good that we’ll always have that record of being unbeaten in The Nest,” Brown said. “It was a goal that we had as a team, but now that we’ve accomplished that our ultimate goal is to end with another state title. That’s what we’re focusing on.”

The Wasps will face Region 9’s No. 2 seed Cedar (18-3, 9-3) on Thursday at 12:50 p.m. in the Huntsman Center located on the campus of the University of Utah.

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