The Emery Spartans (15-5) traveled to Manti (15-6) to face off against the number one team in Region 12 on Wednesday night.
Both teams competed well in the first quarter, getting a feel for one another, with the game tied at 17. In the second, Emery had a nice run, scoring 12 unanswered points against Manti. The Templars had a little run of their own as they closed out the half, making the score 34-28 in favor of the Spartans.
In the second half, the Spartans kept their lead, but the Templars were not going anywhere. The battle was now at 47-42 at the end of the third. Manti hit a big three in the fourth right out of the gate, taking the lead by one with six minutes to go, when Mason Stilson answered right back on the other end with a three of his own.
The teams would have an exciting back-and-forth. With two minutes left in the game, Manti would convert on an and-one call, giving them the lead by three. Creek Sharp had a close range pull up for two, making the gap only one point.
The Templars had possession with a little over a minute remaining. The Spartans’ relentless defense would force a turnover, but they wouldn’t convert on the other end. After another stop on defense, Luke Justice had a favorable roll on his shot, putting the Spartans back up by one.
Manti would choose to not take a timeout as they pushed the ball down the court, taking a contested shot in the paint, defended by Justice. The shot was no good, and Emery secured the rebound and received the big road win against a tough Manti squad.
Luke Justice led the Spartans with 16 points. Zack Tuttle finished with 13 and Creek Sharp had a solid performance with 11 points. Mason Stilson had eight with two big threes, while Wade Stilson ended the night with seven and Matt Olsen had four in the big win for Emery.
With three games left on the schedule, the Spartans are looking to rack up some more wins, hoping to rise in the rankings before the state tournament. Emery will hit the road again and face the Canyon View Falcons (12-7) on Friday night. The Falcons are 7-4 in region, tied with the Emery squad.