SALT LAKE CITY — Emery’s dominance in 3A girls basketball over past two years is quite staggering.
It owns a 46-1 record during that stretch, which includes a current 36-game winning streak. The average margin of victory in 21 wins this season is 32.4 points, and in region that margin swells to 34.9 points.
Outside of a razor-thin win against Beaver back in December, all of Emery’s other wins have been by at least 13 points. The team even scored 106 points recently in a win against Grand.
So as the 3A state tournament gets underway this Friday with the first round at Orem High School, it’s easy to see why defending champion Emery and its four returning starters are such a massive favorite.
Besides the obvious talent, coach Lynn Tuttle believes a big key for Emery’s success the past two years is the players’ willingness to put in the work every day in practice, and in every game. He expects the same mentality from his five senior starters in the playoffs.
“Cockiness is certainly something we don’t want to go into the tournament with," he said. "We try and take it one game at a time and play our best game. They’re a good group of girls, they have been for years. They’re not a group to go into it thinking it’s going to be handed to them. They show up on the court day in and day out and play from the tipoff to the end buzzer as hard as they can."
Emery’s title defense begins on Friday at 3:10 p.m. against American Leadership. It will be the first game in the lower half of the bracket, a side that shouldn’t feature any real threats for the Spartans.
The classification’s other top four teams are all in the upper bracket for the state tournament — Grantsville, South Sevier, Richfield and Carbon. Any of the four is more than capable of winning three straight games to advance to the championship next Saturday at the Sevier Valley Center.
If Richfield or South Sevier reach the final, they’d be familiar foes for Emery after two region meetings. It already beat Richfield by 27 and 18 points this season, and then South Sevier by 24 and 13 points.
Neither Grantsville nor Carbon faced No. 1 Emery this season, but they did square off in the playoffs last year and Emery beat both easily.Comment on this story
Grantsville coach Megan Vera said her players would love the chance to meet Emery again in the championship.
“We have a lot of confidence so we hope we get that opportunity and we think we match up well,” Vera said. “Our mentality, confidence and leadership is so different than last year and I think that gives us more of an edge this year.”
Carbon’s strength is defense as it leads the classification in only allowing 28.4 points per game.