After snapping a two-game losing streak Wednesday with an 81-76 win at North Sanpete, the Emery Spartans were looking for two straight wins Friday night against Manti. After battling back to tie the game at the end of the third quarter, Emery saw Manti pull away in the fourth, taking the Region 15 win, 76-71.
The Templars were just a game up on the Spartans entering the game. Emery could have slipped into a tie for third should they have been victorious Friday night.
Cade Brazier nailed a three to begin the scoring against Manti. But, as they would all game long, the Templars responded with three straight threes to take the 9-3 early lead. Emery cut the lead to 11-8 before the Templars went on an 8-4 run to close out the opening period, leading 19-12.
It was much of the same in the second. Just as Manti hit a three at the three minute mark to take a 29-20 lead, the Spartans responded with an 8-3 run to close out the half, down just four, 32-28.
After the Templars pushed the lead to eight, 41-33, in the first two and a half minutes of the third, Kyson Stilson and Brazier went back to back with threes to cut the Manti lead back to just two. The Templars answered with back-to-back threes of their own, pushing the lead back to eight. Emery then went on an 11-2 run, capped off by a Brax Jensen three with 46 seconds left in the quarter, to take its second lead of the game, 50-49. It was all tied up at 54 at the end of three.
The Templars built a 10–point lead at one point of the fourth before Emery cut it to five to end the game.
Stilson led Emery with 24 points, going 7-13 (3-5 from three) from the floor and 7-8 from the charity stripe. Jensen added 17 more on 5-8 shooting. He also had five assists. Brazier hit four threes on the night en route to 13 points. Tyler Butler chipped in eight points and seven rebounds.
With Emery’s loss to the Templars and San Juan’s win at Richfield, the Spartans (10-9, 4-6 Region 15) slipped into a two-way tie for fourth place with the Broncos (10-10, 4-6 Region 15). Emery will host Grand (15-4, 7-3 Region 15) on Wednesday for senior night. Emery will then finish the regular season Friday at San Juan. Wednesday’s game against the Red Devils will be broadcast live on ETV Channel 10 at 7 p.m.
Watch highlights of the game below: