It wasn’t always pretty, but the Emery Spartans outlasted the Grand Red Devils Friday night for the 61-50 win in Region 15 action.
Koby Butler scored a game-high 29 points and pulled down 17 boards for Emery. The Spartans struggled offensively at times during the game, shooting just 30% (15-50) from the field and missing all but one of its 15 threes it took during the game. Luckily the Spartans shot 75% from the charity stripe, connecting on 30 of their 40 attempts. A total of 60 free throws were shot in the game, as Grand went 14-20 (70%).
Butler scored the first eight points to help his team to the 8-2 lead with three minutes to go in the opening period. Emery led 13-4 after the first quarter with Butler accounting for 10.
Emery’s offensive woes began in the second as Grand cut the lead to one, 15-14, after a 10-2 run. Kolton Butler netted the team’s only field goal in the quarter with less than five seconds to play. Luckily, the Spartans took the 21-18 lead into halftime.
Emery seemed to snap out of its funk in the third as Koby Butler and Bowdie Jacobson each netted four points apiece in the first minute and a half to jump out to the 29-20 lead. Grand responded with an 11-4 run that included three 3-pointers and another field goal to cut the lead to two, 33-31, with just over two minutes to play in the third. Koby Butler and Jacobson then went a combined 5-6 from the line to end the third at 38-33 in Emery’s favor.
Koby Butler made the only three of the game for the Spartans at the 3:03 mark of the fourth for the 50-41 lead. The Red Devils again responded, this time with a 7-2 run, to cut the lead to four, 52-48, before Emery finished the game on a 9-2 run for the win.
Jacobson shot just 1-6 from the floor but connected on 13-14 free throws for 15 points. He also had five assists. Kolton Butler had a good all around game, netting nine points, grabbing 13 rebounds and dishing out a team-high six assists.
Emery (15-1, 5-0 Region 15, #1 in 2A) will play at Manti (7-11, 2-3 Region 15) next Friday. The Spartans beat the Templars 62-52 back on Jan. 6.
Watch highlights of the game below: