ETV News stock photo by Dusty Butler
Emery is excited for the basketball season as the Lady Spartans have a lot of returners coming back for another year. “We have more varsity experience this year than we did last,” said head coach Lynn Tuttle. Although Emery will have a lot of experience, the squad remains fairly young with only two seniors.
Prior to the year, the Lady Spartans were looking forward their presence down low with 6’5″ sophomore Tatum Tanner, but she suffered a knee injury in August and will be out for the year. “That hurts us,” stated Tuttle. “Bralin Wilde (Sr.), who was lost last year due to a knee injury, will have to step up now and give us valuable minutes and work her butt off.”
The injury to Tanner will force Emery to adjust and play differently. “We’re going to get beat up a little bit [down low] now,” Tuttle said. “I’m going to speed the game up and press. I’ve got the players to do that now and I can go two or three down the bench and not lose a ton.”
Region 12 could be the most competitive region once again with teams like Richfield and the returning state champion, South Sevier. Both teams lost some valuable seniors, but will continue to have a big presence down low. South Sevier also lost its coach, so the Lady Rams could be a wild card this season.
Judge Memorial will most likely be the favorite entering the season to take state as the Lady Bulldogs reached the championship game. They will bring back three incredible juniors, including one of the best players in the state. Another team that will be competing for a state title is Grantsville.
Coach Tuttle, along with coaches across the nation, is concerned about whether or not the season will take place. If the season does start, he is also uneasy about the lack of time and preparation the teams have had up to this point. “I worry about kids getting injured; we’re not ready to go,” he said. “We’re going to practice a little bit and ease into it, but to go 100%? I hope we’re okay for the first couple of weeks.”
Wrapping up his thoughts, Tuttle remarked, “We’ll play toward our strengths and obviously that’s going to be a little bit quicker ball now. We’ll try to make some adjustments and see where we ride with it. I’m looking forward to it.”