Written by Hayden Johnson
Emery at Union
Emery continued preseason play on Tuesday to face off with the 3A Union Cougars in Roosevelt. The Spartans got off to a quick start, with Bailey Faimalo assisting on two Dillon Wilstead buckets early in the game for five points. Emery forced Cougar turnovers and got out on the break for easy baskets to take a 21-12 lead after one. The Spartans did not take their foot off of the gas pedal in the second as they built upon their lead to get up by 16 at half, 33-17. Emery undoubtedly played their best basketball of the entire season in the first half thanks largely to Faimalo getting penetration at the rim and making easy baskets for his teammates.
Union came out strong after halftime and took advantage of sloppy play by the Spartans to make a run, scoring 14 straight points at one time in the third to claw within four. Emery was able to cushion their lead somewhat with a run of their own to expand their lead to nine by the end of the third. However, the Spartans continued to slump in the second half. Poor shooting made it difficult to close the Cougars out until Faimalo finished with a few key shots and free throws with four minutes left in the game. Emery would hold on to win by a score of 65-56.
Faimalo finished with his second double-double of the season scoring 23, dishing out 10 and finding the range from three, connecting three of four from deep. Drexler Tanner was once again big on the boards as he has been consistently all year, pulling down 11 rebounds. Gavin McDermott scored 12 and had five rebounds while shooting efficiently in the game. Wilstead scored 14 while going two for two from deep.
Emery looked very good in the first half of their win against Union and will look to get on a roll against Manti on Friday.