For the second consecutive night, the Spartan Center was full for another rivalry game between Carbon and Emery. The contest marked the final regular season matchup for each team, meaning it was senior night for the Lady Spartans. Makaila Peacock, Brielle Rowley, Alex Mortensen and Sabrina West were all honored before the game. Additionally, the seniors on the drill team preformed during halftime and were recognized as well.
The intensity heightened as soon as the ball was tipped off. The Lady Dinos delivered the first blow, compiling 18 points to Emery’s 11. Emery, however, hung tough mentally and started to battle back in the second quarter. The Spartans finally unleashed their offense and continually applied pressure.
Consistently scoring has been an issue for Emery throughout the year, but the Spartans found another gear after the first quarter. Emery finished shooting 48 percent from the field and 44 percent from three. Not to be outdone, the Lady Dinos shot 54 percent from the floor and a remarkable 64 percent (9-14) from outside. That made for an exciting atmosphere as each team hit shot after shot.
The Spartans pulled within two points in the second quarter, forcing a Carbon timeout. Emery then tied the game up at 26, only for Kennedy Williams to hit a three, putting the Dinos back on top. Emery took advantage of a couple Dino miscues and Katelyn Nielson tied the game at 33 just as the buzzer sounded to end the first half.
The Spartans stayed on the attack coming out of the break, and benefited from exceptional bench play. In fact, Emery ended the night with 38 bench points highlighted by Katelyn Nielson (So.) with 21 and Karleigh Stilson (Jr.) with 17.
Emery took the lead in the third quarter and maintained a two-possession advantage until midway through the fourth. Amiah Timothy took control for the Dinos and scored 12 of her 22 points in the fourth quarter. The Dinos finally tied it up at 61 and went up a couple scores, searching for the knockout blow, but Emery was not finished. The Spartans never hung their heads and continued to deliver body shots.
Aliya Lester had herself a night with 18 points and pulled the Spartans back within one. After another Carbon bucket, Nielson answered back with a score, keeping Emery within striking distance. Emery had to get a stop in the closing seconds and did just that. Peacock then drove down the lane and was fouled, giving her a chance to tie or win the game. She missed the first, but made the second, sending the game into overtime.
Gracie Vasquez invaded the extra period with three consecutive three-point shots. She finished with 13 points, 10 of which came in the final four minutes. Emery never lost its fight and Nielson hit a bucket to pull the Spartans back within one with under 10 seconds left. Carbon quickly inbounded the ball, but threw it away. Peacock picked it up a couple feet beyond the three-point line and put up a prayer as the final seconds ticked down. Timothy, though, was prepared as she covered a lot of ground, blocking the shot and sealing the victory for Carbon, 79-78.
Williams finished with a double-double, scoring 13 points and adding 13 assists. Her assist to turnover ratio was outstanding as she only turned the ball over two times. She also complied five steals as did Madi Orth. Orth was in foul trouble most the night and she eventually fouled out in the fourth, but she still managed 10 points in the contest. Emery did a great job on the defensive end, forcing 22 Dino turnovers and holding Carbon to just five offensive boards. All in all, each team played its heart out in the thriller.
In addition, the Dinos were named Co-Region Champs as they finished 5-1 in the region. The two squads will now await the final RPI Standings, which will be released on Saturday. Check back with ETV News for updated information the playoff schedule.