Written by Hayden Johnson
CASTLE DALE- Emery survived against a tough Grand team on Wednesday night, propelled by record setting performances from a pair of Spartans to earn the region win by a score of 68-54.
Bailey Faimalo set the Spartan Center record for assists by dishing out 13 on the game while stuffing the stat sheet with 10 points, 6 rebounds and 6 steals for Emery and Gavin McDermott tied a Spartan Center record by pulling down 18 rebounds to go along with 15 points. Dillon Wilstead also played well for the Spartans with a game high 25 points.
“I’ve been chasing that record all year and it was good to get it in a region game, which meant a lot to me” said Faimalo. McDermott said “I’ve just been really aggressive and really focusing on crashing the boards and this has given me some easy baskets.”
Out of the gates both teams hit the ground running, literally, as each team was able to get in transition for easy baskets and it was a back and forth game early. Emery held the small advantage at the end of the low scoring first quarter 11-9.
Poor shooting from the Red Devils propelled an Emery run and the Spartans were able to go on a 12-4 run to increase their lead to eight midway through the 2nd quarter. Emery would close out the half up 27-20 and seem primed to blow the game open.
However, Grand would not go away and the Red Devils came out of the half shooting hot. After a half where they went 1-7 from deep the Red Devils turned it on and were able to knock down their attempts from behind the line and at one point hit four triples in a row in the third quarter. Grand’s hot shooting led to a comeback for the Red Devils and they stormed back and took a lead of 37-36. Emery switched into a press and was able to force turnovers and get easy baskets to retake the lead and end the third quarter up 45-42.
In an exciting fourth quarter the Spartans went down low to their post players and moving Faimalo to shooting guard and having junior Ridge Nielson run the point was a set that saw some success. Emery was able to finally pull away from the pesky Red Devils with a minute left in the game and cruised to the victory.
Emery will look to build on this win as they are now 3-2 in region play and 12-4 overall. “We’ve just been having more fun and playing loose. When we get out and run our fast break we’re a much better team and we need to keep that up and focus on getting stops on defense” said McDermott.
The Spartans will square off against San Juan at home on Friday in their next game. They already beat the Broncos in Blanding earlier in the season and will look to sweep the season series.
Check out highlights of the game below:
[jwplayer player=”1″ mediaid=”48859″]