Everyone knew the game between Emery and South Sevier would be a good one. The game lived up to the hype as the Spartans did just enough to escape with a hard-fought 50-46 win over the Rams on Friday night. The win also kept Emery at the top of the Region 15 standings with one region game remaining.
Tai Justice kept Emery even with South Sevier in the first quarter with back-to-back three-pointers midway through the opening period. With the Rams up three points with second remaining in the quarter, Justice again connected from beyond the arc at the buzzer to tie the game at 11.
A back-and-forth second quarter, in which neither team got ahead more than four points, ended with a Kolten Bigelow hook shot that sent the Rams into the break with a slim 24-22 lead.
Ridge Nielson opened the third quarter for the Spartans with a three that gave his team its first lead since the first quarter. The Spartans would extend their lead to seven, 32-25 with 3:10 on the clock before the Rams ended the quarter on a 7-1 run that included a buzzer-beating three to get them within one.
Both teams would lead in the fourth quarter, but Justice’s fourth and final three-pointer with three minutes remaining reclaimed the lead for good. South Sevier trimmed the Emery lead to two, 48-46, with under a minute to play, but two free throws by sophomore Kolton Butler with 8.2 seconds left in the game sealed the win for the Spartans.
Dillon Wilstead paced the Spartans with 20 points, his fifth 20-point game of the year. Justice, with his four threes, pitched in 12. Kolton Butler finished with seven points on the night.
Emery (12-8. 5-2 Region 15) has just one game remaining on its schedule, with a tilt at Grand (1-17, 0-7 Region 15) on Tuesday. The Red Devils won their first game of the season on Wednesday at Pinnacle. North Sevier (12-9, 6-2 Region 15) kept pace with Emery in the region standings with an overtime win at San Juan on Friday night, 94-86. Should Emery win at Grand on Tuesday, it would clinch the Region 15 title. A loss would give North Sevier the top spot. The Spartans own the tiebreaker over the Wolves via two wins in two tries this season.
Watch highlights of the game below:
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