By Hayden Johnson
Emery made the long trip to San Juan Friday to square off against the Broncos in its first region game of the season. The Spartans were able to continue their dominance, winning by a score of 86-68.
It was a career night for Emery point guard Bailey Faimalo, who racked up a career high 31 points to go along with five three-pointers and 11 assists. Faimalo ended up scoring or assisting on at least 53 of the Spartan’s 86 points.
“Things for me were just clicking. It’s good to be in rhythm on a road game and even better on a region game. In short, I was feeling it,” explained Faimalo.
It was also a big night for Emery forward Gavin McDermott, who pulled down eight rebounds in the first quarter on his way to a double-double with ten points and 13 rebounds on the night.
Emery came out attacking the glass and its penchant for fast starts continued. They also controlled the rebounding battle throughout the game and especially in the first quarter. This aggressiveness and hard work on the defensive end allowed the Spartans to get a 15-6 lead by the end of the first.
Three-point shooting and transition offense got Emery’s scorers multiple open layups and free throws. This made for a big second quarter, despite both of Emery’s guards, Dillon Wilstead and Faimalo, getting into foul trouble early. The Spartans led 40-31 at the half.
The Spartans came out strong in the third quarter with a 17-8 run to start the half that included multiple threes from Faimalo and Wilstead. This run lead to a huge 31 quarter from Emery, capped off by a buzzer beater three shot by Faimalo to end the third.
Emery was able to ride its strong performance to cruise to a victory to end the game. Spartan juniors, Ridge Nielson, Beau Roundy, Tai Justice and Kevin Butler all continued to show promise as they helped close out the game for the win.
“It was good to get off to a good start in region play,” explained head coach Todd Jeffs. “San Juan is always a tough place to play so I feel really good about getting a win there. We turned the ball over a lot in the game, but we have been pretty solid with the ball so far this year. Also, poor free throw shooting is still a concern.”
The Spartans will look to ride their current string of wins in a home game next Wednesday against the North Sevier Wolves.