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Spartan Teams go Down Smokin’



By GARY ARRINGTON Sports Reporter

Lady Spartan Amber Gardner scrambles for the ball.

As if the boys one point loss the night before wasn’t enough, the Lady Spartans had a bummer of their own as they lost 47-46 to Park City and their season is over. First round of play-offs and another one point loss for the Emery High Spartans. Bummer.
Balanced first quarter scoring kept the Spartans within three as they trailed 17-14. Jennifer Nielson and MacKell Huntington had five points each and Amber Gardner and Natalee Hanson had two points each as the Spartans stayed close to the 3-point shooting Miners.
Emery took the lead at the half as the Spartans defense kept Park City at bay allowing only three points in the second quarter. Jennifer Nielson provided the scoring as she added all nine Emery points and the Spartans led 23-20.
The Spartans had a rough third quarter. Nobody scored in this quarter for almost four minutes. Two free throws by Gardner and a basket by Nielson gave Emery their biggest lead of the game at 27-21. The Miners scored the last nine points of the quarter to take the lead back at 30-27. Huntington picked up her fourth foul and then a technical to foul out of the game in this quarter.
Park City increased their lead to 38-29 with five minutes left in the game and to 45-35 with three minutes left in the game. As they had done more than once this season, just when you thought all was lost, the Spartans upped their level of intensity on both ends of the court. They scored 11 of the next 13 points to make it exciting.
In that quarter, Casey Murray and Alexis Swasey had big baskets and Gardner two free throws before she also fouled out of the contest. Jennifer Nielson came up huge in that quarter with 13 points as her senior leadership kept the Spartans hopes alive. Down 47-46 with 18 seconds left, the Spartans defense forced the Miners to throw the ball out of bounds and the Spartans now had a chance. With 6.8 seconds left, the Spartans returned the favor and turned the ball over themselves. Park City could not get the ball inbounds with the five seconds and they turn it right back over. Emery does get the ball inbounds but a jump ball is called and the ball belongs back to the Miners. After two missed Miner free throws, Nielson’s long shot attempt is short at the buzzer and Park City wins. Bummer. Jennifer Nielson scored 29 points to pace the Spartan cause. Gardner added six; Huntington added five and Hanson, Murray and Swasey two each. Thanks Lady Spartans, this year was exciting, entertaining and just plain fun to watch.

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