It took four quarters and then another to settle the score between two teams desperately trying to get to Richfield next week for the conclusion of the 2A playoffs. In a tough and physical game between the second-seeded Emery Lady Spartans and the third-seeded Millard Eagles, everything but the kitchen sink was seen in the game that fittingly came down to the final seconds. Millard ended up sending Emery home with a disappointing 61-59 loss, ending the Spartans’ season.
Both teams began the game very physical in what would be a back-and-forth first half. Emery went into the locker room at intermission down 23-22.
The Lady Spartans responded quickly in the third with a 10-2 run in the first three minutes of action. Ashton Bell’s three pointer with 2:55 left in the quarter had Emery up 35-26. The Lady Spartans outscored the Eagles 13-5 overall in the period.
The Eagles responded in the fourth with trip after trip to the free throw line. The Eagles shot 31 free throws in the game to Emery’s nine. Both teams traded blows until Millard went up 53-48 with under 10 seconds to go. Emery freshman Lainee Jensen nailed a three to get the Spartans within two, 53-51, with just 5.8 seconds remaining in the game. On the ensuing Eagle inbounds, Shantel Kesler threw the ball out of bounds without a teammate touching the ball, which, by rule, gives the ball back to the opposing team from where the ball was last touched. Bailey Rasmussen received the inbounded ball under the hoop and scored to tie the game up at 53 with no time on the clock.
Both teams traded big buckets in overtime and Emery looked as if it would escape with the narrow victory when senior Ashley Olsen converted a three-point play with 16 seconds remaining to put the Spartans up one, 59-58. Millard freshman Kynlee Penney then banked in a three pointer with six seconds left on the clock to put the Eagles back up one. Camry Johnson heaved a desperation 45-footer at the buzzer that went off the backboard and rimmed out, ending the game.
With the win, Millard advances to play Delta on Thursday at the Sevier Valley Center in Richfield. The number-four seeded Rabbits upset a number-one seeded Waterford team earlier in the day.