Emery traveled to Orem High School Saturday to face off against the Rockwell Marshals in the first round of the 2A state tournament. The Spartans were able to maintain a steady attack throughout the game to cruise to a 71-53 win.
Bailey Faimalo came close to a triple-double with a great stat line of 22 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds. Gavin McDermott was as consistent as ever with 12 points and 12 boards in the Spartan win.
“As a team, we played great defense, we need to continue that in the state tournament,” said Faimalo.
Emery started slow in the first quarter, turning the ball over and missing easy shots early on. They came back late in the quarter to lead 17-8 at the end of the first. The Spartans played much better basketball throughout the course of the game.
Rockwell pounded the ball down low and almost all of their points in the first half came from inside the paint. The Spartans were able to cut down on turnovers and spread the ball around in the second quarter for a 28-15 lead at the half.
McKlane Allred got into foul trouble in the third and Ridge Nielson did a good job coming in as the point, moving Faimalo to the two spot. During the course of the game, Emery was able to continue to build its lead. They led 47-32 at the end of the third.
Emery closed the game in the fourth quarter thanks largely to good free throw shooting. Spartan players were able to step up to the line and make shots to secure the win.
The Spartans have struggled mightily throughout the season to make shots from the stripe, shooting only 54 percent on the season, but were able to have a very good performance at the line, going 24-31 in the game.
Emery plays South Summit, who beat Beaver in its first round game, Thursday in Richfield at the Sevier Valley Center at 9:30 a.m.
“To prepare for South Summit, we need to work hard this week in practice,” said McDermott. “Our defense was key in this win and we can build on that but we need to make our easy shots and rebound better.”