Season Review: Emery Basketball 2019-2020

It was a bittersweet year for the Emery Spartan Basketball squad. They finished the season 21-4 overall and 9-1 in Region 12. They also ended as the No. 3 team in 3A. Along the way they got longtime Coach Todd Jeffs his 500 win, but also said goodbye to him after 40 seasons, 32 as the head coach.

Next season will be one of change for the Spartans. We look forward to next year.

Below is a recap of the season:

November 22- American Leadership Academy- Win 58-53

The Emery Spartans managed to hold off a late second half surge from American Leadership Academy to secure a 58-53 win in the season opener in Spanish Fork.

An efficient first half allowed the Spartans to take a comfortable 35-21 lead into the first half break. ALA responded with a full court press to start the second half, outscoring Emery 14-7 in the third and 18-16 in the fourth.

Emery senior Jordan Ekker posted a game-high 19 points in his first varsity start. Fellow senior Brax Jensen shot an efficient 5-9 from the field to score 14 points to go along with ten assists. Kyler Wilstead also recorded a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

As a team the Spartans shot 52-percent from the field, but struggled from the three-point line as they converted just six-of-25 attempts. The team also shot just 53-percent from the foul line.

November 26- American Heritage- Win 83-49

The Emery Spartans moved to 2-0 on the young basketball season with a dominating 83-49 victory over the American Heritage Academy Patriots at the Spartan Center in Castle Dale.

Led by senior Brax Jensen’s career-high 33-points, the Spartans outscored the Patriots in each of the four quarters. Holding a 37-23 lead at the break, Emery unleashed a 16-1 run in the third quarter to pull away for good.

After posting 16 points through the first two quarters, Jensen scored 17 in the second half despite playing only part of the fourth quarter. Adding six assists to the stat sheet, American Heritage had no answer for the senior’s offensive output.

Fellow senior Kyler Wilstead once again reached double-figures in points, notching 13 to go along with eight rebounds. Justin Rasmussen and Seth Justice each contributed nine, while Riggs Griffin finished with six.

December 4- Delta- Loss 67-63

The Emery Spartans came up short for the first time this season in a 67-63 non-region loss to the Delta Rabbits in Delta.

Holding a comfortable 34-25 lead at the end of the first half, the Spartans were outscored in each of the final two quarters. Delta senior Derek Smith scored 17 of his game-high 38 points in the fourth quarter, completing the comeback back victory for the Rabbits.

Emery senior Brax Jensen finished with a team-best 30 points in the setback. Averaging 25.6 points per contest over the first three games of the season, Wednesday marked the second straight 30-plus scoring output for Jensen.

Senior Jordan Ekker chipped in with 14 points, 12 of which came from beyond the three-point line. Justin Rasmussen contributed eight and Kyler Wilstead ended with six.

December 9- Maeser Prep Academy- Win 80-51

The Emery Spartans welcomed Maeser Prep to the Spartan Center, defeating the Lions 80-51.

Jumping out to an early first quarter lead the Spartans would keep up their intensity to push the halftime lead to 47-19, playing Maeser close to even in the second half.

Leading the way for the Spartans was senior Jordan Ekker with 21 points on 8-of-14 shooting including 5-of-11 from behind the arc. He would also add three rebounds, five assists and three steals. Kyler Wilstead would drop 16 points on 7-of-8 shooting to go with his seven rebounds, two assists and three steals. Brax Jensen would contribute as well with 12 points, 12 assists four rebounds and two steals.

December 10- Union- Win 90-57

Brax Jensen poured in a game-high 24 points as the Emery Spartans cruised to a 90-57 victory over the Union Cougars in Roosevelt.

Playing for the second time in two days, the Spartans showed no signs of fatigue as they carried a 24-9 lead into the second quarter. The offense continued to soar as it surpassed the 20-point mark in each of the first three quarters.

Senior Jordan Ekker complimented Jensen’s scoring output with 22 points of his each. Both Ekker and Jensen knocked down five three-point tries, accounting for 46 of the team’s 90 points.

The win marks the second straight for the Spartans, while improving the team’s record to 4-1 in the non-region portion of the schedule.

Justin Rasmussen continued his consistent play on both sides of the ball as he chipped in with 11 points. Seth Justice reached double-figures for the first time this season as contributed 10 points.

Nine different Emery players scored at least two points in the team’s highest scoring game of the year. The Spartans have notched 80 or more points in three of the five games played this season.

December 13- Juab- Win 74-50

The Emery Spartans extended its winning streak to three with a 74-50 victory over the Juab Wasps at the Spartan Center in Castle Dale.

Senior Brax Jensen scored 20 of his game-high 22 points in the second half and handed out eight assists as the Spartans improved to 5-1 on the season. The win marks the third this week, all three coming by a margin greater than 20.

“They came out fired up and got scrappy with us,” said senior Jordan Ekker. “In the second half we decided to get fired up as well and get on the ground for the loose balls.”

Holding a slim 15-11 lead at the end of the first quarter, Emery extended their advantage to double-digits after outscoring Juab 20-8 in the second. The lead continued to grow as Emery outscored the Wasps in the final two periods.

Ekker complimented Jensen offensively with 20 points, five rebounds, four assists and two steals. In the opening quarter Ekker recorded 10 of the team’s 15 points and also assisted the other two baskets.

While Emery’s offense fired on all cylinders throughout the contest, the rhythm was established by the duo of Ekker and Jensen. In the three wins this past week the two combined for 121 points.

“We’ve played so long together as kids that we just have that connection to get each other the ball,” said Ekker. “When we move the ball around we know it makes it difficult for other teams to guard us. We all trust each other.”

Fellow senior Kyle Wilstead ended with 12 points, seven rebounds and four blocks. Justin Rasmussen helped create balance with an additional 10 points.

December 17- Granstville- Loss 55-52

Locked in a back-and-forth battle throughout the evening, the Emery Spartans were unable to overcome a fourth quarter deficit in a 55-50 loss to the Grantsville Cowboys on the road.

A virtual tie statistically in all major offensive categories, the Cowboys converted on 20 field goals compared to 19 for Emery. The difference in the contest came as Grantsville outscored Emery by three in the second quarter and two in the third.

Senior Brax Jensen ended with a team-high 17 points and 13 assists. Jordan Ekker continued to shoot well from beyond the arc finishing with four makes from deep for 12 points. Kyler Wilstead ended with 10 points, four rebounds and three steals.

The loss snaps a three-game winning streak for the Spartans, which began last week with a win over Maeser Prep. During the three game stretch Emery won each of the contests by more than 20 points.

Now 5-2 on the season Emery will return to the court with a home tilt against South Summit.

December 20- South Summit- Win 78-60

Emery High School boys basketball coach Todd Jeffs reached a career milestone, picking up win No. 500 as the Spartans defeated the South Summit Wildcats 78-60 at the Spartan Center in Castle Dale.

The Spartans wasted no time developing a monumental advantage after outscoring South Summit 20-5 in the opening quarter. Emery remained in control throughout the final three quarters, coasting to its sixth win of the season.

Senior Justin Rasmussen finished with a season best 18 points to lead the Spartans in the lopsided win. Rasmussen shot an efficient 7-10 from the field including 3-5 from deep, while also grabbing six rebounds and handing out two assists.

Fellow seniors Brax Jensen, Jordan Ekker and Seth Justice all reached double-figures in the well rounded performance. Jensen ended with 15 points, 10 assists and two rebounds. Both Ekker and Justice finished with 14 points.

The win places head coach Todd Jeffs in elite company as he becomes just the sixth coach in Utah High School Basketball history to win 500 or more games with one school. Holding the head coaching position since 1989, Jeffs achieved the 500 win mark in less than 750 games.

“This just means I’ve been doing this a whole long time,” said Jeffs following the win. “It’s been really fun. It’s been a huge part of my life.”

“My kids don’t know me as anything but a coach. That’s all they’ve known their whole lives. It’s going to be a big change, but it’s time.” said Jeffs.

January 4- Gunnison Valley- Win 63-49

Brax Jensen posted a game-high 21 points to lead the Emery Spartans past the Gunnison Bulldogs 63-49 in a non-region road contest.

Playing for the first time since Dec. 20, the Spartans held control throughout the game against the 2A Bulldogs. Holding a five point lead at the end of the first quarter, Emery used a 16-8 run in the second to advance the lead to double-digits.

Fellow seniors Seth Justice and Jordan Ekker each contributed 11 points as the Spartans improved to 7-2 overall. Justin Rasmussen and Kyler Wilstead both finished with nine, while Riggs Griffin logged two points in a reserve effort.

Saturday’s win moves the Spartans up one spot to No. 4 in the latest UHSAA RPI rankings. Emery currently sits behind fellow region opponents Richfield and San Juan, who hold the No. 3 and No. 2 spots respectively.

January 8- Richfield- Loss 58-36

The Emery Spartans opened up Region 12 play on the road in Richfield. The Wildcats looked to be unstoppable in the game outscoring the Spartans by 20 points in the first half and would eventually take the victory 58-36.

Being outscored in the first quarter 16-7, Emery would dig themselves a deeper hole allowing Richfield to take over going on a 21-10 run in the second.

Emery would also have a rough night, shooting just 29.7% from the field including 3-of-17 from behind the three-point line.

This game was a re-match of the semifinal game from last years 3A State Championship Tournament, with Richfield winning that meeting and then going on to lose to State Champion Morgan.

Brax Jensen led the way for the Spartans with 13 points to go with his three assists and one steal. Jordan Ekker and Justin Rasmussen would each score eight points, with Ekker adding four rebounds and two assists and Rasmussen pulling down four boards as well.

January 10- Win- Carbon 57-52

The Emery Spartans held off a second half run from the Carbon Dinos to secure a 57-52 win in a Region 12 showdown at Carbon High School.

Holding a comfortable lead throughout most of the contest, the Emery lead vanished late in the fourth quarter as Carbon captured a 52-51 lead with just under four minutes to play. The Spartans responded with a 6-0 run to close out the game and earn the win.

Emery senior Brax Jensen poured in a game-high 21 points to go along with seven rebounds and seven assists to lead the Spartans to their first region win of the season. Jensen scored the last six points, including four straight free throws to put the game out of reach.

Fellow senior Kyler Wilstead recorded the game’s lone double-double with 17 points and 13 rebounds. Making an impact early on Wilstead scored 10 points in the opening quarter, helping Emery set the tone early.

“They have a lot of size and length inside and they blocked a lot of my shots,” said Wilstead. “Tonight was just different with the rivalry game. We played hard, but I thought we played smart at times late.”

Jordan Ekker finished with 12 points, all of which came from beyond the arc. Seth Justice added five and Riggs Griffin scored two as Emery improved to 8-3 on the season.

January 11- North Sanpete- Win 68-33

The Emery Spartans earned its second victory in as many days after dominating the North Sanpete Hawks 68-33 at the Spartan Center in Castle Dale.

Fresh off of a win over the Carbon Dinos, the Spartans held the Hawks to only six points through the first 12 minutes of the second half. The 22-4 run in third quarter was more than enough for Emery to create separation and earn the blowout win.

“I think we are streaky,” said senior Brax Jensen. “Some nights we don’t miss and other we can’t get anything to fall. Tonight we made our shots in the first quarter, so it dictated the rest of the game.”

Senior Jordan Ekker led the way with a game-high 19 points, 15 of which came from the three-point line. Jensen was equally as effective as he ended with 15 points. Seth Justice also reached double-figures chipping in with 10.

“I think I felt best tonight as funny as that sounds,” said Jensen. “The first two games this week I felt slow.”

While the offense fired on all cylinders the Spartans set the tone defensively. Up 13-5 at the end of the first quarter the Emery lead dwindled to four at 19-15. From that point the team locked up North Sanpete, allowing just four points throughout the third quarter and half of the fourth.

January 15- Grand- Win 71-41

The Emery Spartans extended their latest winning streak to three with a dominating 71-41 victory over the Grand Red Devils at the Spartan Center in Castle Dale.

Holding just a three-point lead at the end of the first quarter, Emery outscored the Red Devils 19-7 in the second quarter. The comfortable 15-point advantage ballooned to 26 entering the fourth, making the final period a formality.

“We didn’t shoot the ball real well in the first half, but we kept plugging away,” said head coach Todd Jeffs. “We kept finding ways to get to the basket and setting each other up for shots. It did have a strange feel for the game though.”

Brax Jensen scored 18 of his game-high 24 points in the second half and handed out seven assists to lead the Spartans. Justin Rasmussen recorded a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Seth Justice chipped in with 10 points.

Rasmussen used the traditional big man offensive tactics by playing with his back to the basket. Relying on entry passes and low post moves, he provided his largest scoring output of the season.

“I don’t really see many smaller players against me at center,” said Rasmussen. “When I saw that he was smaller I tried it and it kept working. It was really fun.”

January 17- San Juan- Win 63-58

Senior Brax Jensen scored a game-high 28 points to help No. 4 Emery defeat No. 3 San Juan 63-58 at the Spartan Center in Castle Dale.

Battling for sole possession of second place within the Region 12 division, the back and forth affair featured multiple lead changes throughout. Despite a late run by San Juan, the Spartans managed to secure their fourth victory overall and move to 3-1 in division play.

“I’ve been hyped all week for this game,” said Jensen following the win. “When I saw they were go to get up in me defensively I decided to drive and let the refs make some calls. When they started doubling me in the second half I knew I just needed to find the open guy.”

Finishing with eight assists, Jensen managed to get other teammates involved as two others reached double-figures. Fellow senior Jordan Ekker connected on three shots from beyond the arc to finish with 14 points, while Kyler Wilstead contributed 12. Justin Rasmussen also helped push the offense as he finished with nine points.

January 22- South Sevier- Win 55-49

Faced with an early 11-point first quarter deficit, the Emery Spartans methodically pushed ahead of the South Sevier Rams and earned an eventual 55-49 win in Monroe.

Using a variety of defensive looks, the Spartans slowly chipped away at the double-digit South Sevier lead. Trailing 26-25 at the break, Emery senior Brax Jensen exploded offensively by scoring 23 of his game-high 27 points in the second half.

“It was a very slow start for us, but it was good to get back on track,” said assistant coach Bowie Jeffs. “We had some huge shots from Brax that really pushed us over the edge. We missed some free throws down the stretch, but we pulled out the win.”

Jensen’s outburst propelled the Spartans and lit a fire that became contagious on both ends of the floor. Adding to his point total he also dished out six assists, grabbed four rebounds and accumulated two steals.

Senior Jordan Ekker lifted the offense in its time of need during the first half as he finished with 11 points. Justin Rasmussen continued his consistent play with eight points and seven rebounds, while Kyler Wilstead ended with six.

January 24- Richfield- Win 54-53

The Emery Spartans topped the Richfield Wildcats 54-53 for a monumental Region 12 victory at the Spartan Center in Castle Dale.

Senior Brax Jensen poured in a game-high 21 points, including the go-ahead foul-and-one three-point play with 42 seconds remaining in regulation. Fellow senior Jordan Ekker complimented Jensen with 16 points, 12 of which came from beyond the arc.

“We just wanted to beat these guys and get them back for what they did to us at their place,” said Ekker. “We came in with the mindset to win. We weren’t intimidated by them. We had a different game plan and we executed it perfectly.”

Locked in a back-and-forth battle throughout, the Spartans trailed 51-46 with 2:57 remaining in the game. Following two foul shots from Jensen, Ekker tied the game with a transition corner three with 1:39 left on the clock.

“We didn’t let them hit five threes in the first quarter,” said senior Brax Jensen when asked about the difference between the two games. “Even though our shots weren’t falling early we were still in the game. We felt comfortable throughout.”

January 29- San Juan- Win 62-59

The No. 2 ranked Emery Spartans earned their biggest road win of the season, topping No. 4 San Juan 62-59 in overtime in Blanding.

Trailing by 10 points midway through the third quarter, the Spartans quickly found their rhythm from beyond the arc. Outscoring San Juan 13-9 in the fourth, Emery capped the game off with a 9-6 run in overtime.

Senior Jordan Ekker poured in a game-high 24 points, 15 of which came from beyond the arc. Not regulated to just perimeter play on offense, Ekker made several key plays inside the paint to help the Spartans overcome the Broncos.

Brax Jensen continued to deliver consistent offensive production with 21 points, including four crucial free throws to tie the game off of a technical foul. Kyler Wilstead finished with seven points, Seth Justice scored six and Justin Rasmussen ended with four.

January 31- Carbon- Win 60-49

The Emery Spartans earned their eighth consecutive win and a season-series sweep over the Carbon Dinos with a 60-49 win at the Spartan Center in Castle Dale.

Entering the game ranked No. 2 in the state, the Spartans held control of the game for most of the first half. Emery then weathered a fourth quarter Carbon run to secure the region victory.

“We have just really came together after the loss to Richfield and decided we wanted to do this thing,” said senior Brax Jensen. “We knew we needed to tighten up on defense and that’s what we’ve done.”

After scoring just four points in the first half Jensen became a problem for the Dinos as he dropped 22 of this game-high 26 in the final two quarters. Finishing one of three Spartans in double-figures, the balance on offense made it difficult for Carbon to adjust.

Kyler Wilstead delivered one of his best offensive performances of the season as he poured in 17 points to go alone with 10 rebounds. Jordan Ekker knocked down two of the team’s four three-point makes for 13 points.

“Every time I would beat my guy they would double down hard,” said Jensen. “That’s why I was able to find Kyler.”

February 5- South Sevier- Win 66-59

The Emery Spartans are now one win away from at least a share of the Region 12 championship after defeating the South Sevier Rams 66-59 at the Spartan Center in Castle Dale.

Trailing throughout the majority of the first half, the Spartans rebounded, literally and figuratively, in the final 16 minutes to earn the win. Trailing by one entering the fourth quarter, Emery limited South Sevier on the glass and outscored the Rams 22-14.

“We didn’t make a lot of mistakes but we just didn’t put a lot of pressure on the ball early and we gave up a lot of offensive rebounds,” said head coach Todd Jeffs following the win. “That combined with their hot shooting made it a great game.”

Senior Brax Jensen dazzled throughout the evening as he scored a game-high 34 points and handed out six assists. Jensen finished a blazing 6-of-7 from beyond the arc, including a 21-point first half.

“He was incredible. His three-point shooting was phenomenal,” said Jeffs. “He had a huge game scoring the ball with 34 points, but still ends up with six assists. He just a great player and we are glad to have them.”

Fellow senior Jordan Ekker helped push the Emery offense with 14 points. Justin Rasmussen hauled in 11 rebounds, but scored six monumental points in the fourth quarter. Kyler Wilstead also chipped in with six points.

February 7- Grand- Win 80-79

Emery senior Brax Jensen connected on two free-throws with 0.7 seconds remaining in regulation to give the Spartans a thrilling 80-79 victory over the Grand Red Devils in Moab.

Playing for a share of the Region 12 championship, the Spartans were tested throughout the game by a pesky Red Devil squad looking for their first region win. Trailing by four with less than two minutes remaining, the Spartans again found a way to earn the win.

Down two-points Jensen went the length of the court to tie the game at 78-78 with only 7.6 seconds remaining in regulation. While the game appeared to be headed for overtime, chaos would ensue over the final seconds to determine the winner.

After advancing the ball past half court Grand senior Kaine Allred was fouled 30 feet away from the basket with only 1.7 seconds on the clock. Going 1-of-2 at the line, Grand held a 79-78 lead as Emery called a time out.

Junior Jax Madsen attempted a down court pass to Jensen. Attempting to split two defenders, Jensen was fouled upon gaining possession. Out of fouls to give, the violation put Jensen at the charity stripe with 0.7 seconds on the clock. The two makes gave Emery a one-point lead and the eventual win.

On top of hitting the game winning free throws, Jensen finished with a game-high 31 points, well above his season average of 22. Kyler Wilstead delivered one of his most outstanding performances of the year with 20 points, while Justin Rasmussen contributed 11.

February 8- Green River- Win 98-61

The Emery Spartans wrapped up the regular season with a dominating 98-61 win over the Green River Pirates, running their current winning streak to 11 games.

Playing just hours after clinching a share of the Region 12 championship in Moab, the Spartans showed no signs of fatigue. Scoring early and often, the Emery starters were given a rest in the fourth quarter as the Spartan lead grew to 40.

Senior Jordan Ekker scored a team best 21 points in his final home game as a member of the Spartans. Brax Jensen scored 20 to even out the back court scoring as Emery improved to 18-3 overall on the season.

Each Emery senior contributed in a major way during the regular season finale. Kyler Wilstead logged the game’s only double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Justin Rasmussen chipped in with 12 points and seven boards, while Seth Justice scored six.

The regular season finale also marked the final home game of coach Todd Jeffs’ illustrious head coaching career. Adding his 17th region championship in 32 years at the helm on, this win runs his impressive career total to 512 entering the state playoffs.

In honor of coach Todd Jeffs’ final home game a large number of the 350 athletes he has coached over the past three decades joined the game and posed for pictures following the victory.

Ending the regular season with the second most wins in the 3A classification and a share of the division crown, the Spartans will now await the final RPI rankings to see who they may play in the second round of the state playoffs.

February 15- Grand- Win 69-42

Emery senior Brax Jensen put on a show as the Spartans cruised past the Grand Red Devils 69-42 in the second round of the 3A State Championship Tournament at the BDAC in Price.

Unloading for a game-high 34 points, Jensen put Emery in front early. Holding a 35-17 lead at the end of the first half, the Spartans continued to roll for the eventual victory.

The Emery back court managed to outscore the Red Devils by themselves. Jensen scored 18 of his 34 in the opening half. Senior Jordan Ekker helped carry the load offensively with 14 points, 11 of which came in the first two quarters.

The Spartans gained their early advantage by shooting a sizzling 66-percent from the field in the first half. Despite shooting a lower percentage in the second, Emery still ended an efficient 54-percent overall.

Justin Rasmussen continued to deliver inside as he gathered a game-high 12 rebounds to go along with three points. Kyler Wilstead finished with five boards and four points, while Jax Madsen scored five points off of the bench.

Emery’s defense provided several problems for the Red Devils, who finished just 15-53 from the field. Leading scorer Kaine Allred poured in a team best 14 points. Fellow senior Luke Williams scored eight and Eli Hazlett finished with seven.

February 20- South Sevier- Win 65-51

The Emery Spartans fought through a slow start in a physical contest to top the South Sevier Rams 65-51 in the quarterfinals of the 3A State Championship Tournament at Salt Lake Community College.

“I thought we played well,” said head coach Todd Jeffs. “All year long I’ve been preaching to my guys that our success will be determined by how well we play defense, and how well we rebound. Our defensive rebounding kept us in it, then we figured it out offensively.”

Trailing 12-10 at the end of the first quarter, the Spartans outscored the Rams 17-6 in the second to carry a nine point lead into the break. The third quarter again worked in Emery’s favor as they scored 26 points to increase the advantage to 20.

The Spartans seized control early in the second half as Seth Justice connected on back-to-back three point makes. Jordan Ekker capped a 9-0 run with a three-point make on the following possession.

Justice scored a game-high 18 points, all of which came from behind the three-point line, to lead Emery in the win. Brax Jensen logged a double-double with 15 points and 10 assists, while Ekker contributed 13.

“I saw the defense they were playing. They were double-teaming Brax (Jensen) all game long,” said Justice. “I knew I had to step up, hit some three-point shots and that’s exactly what I did.”

As a team the Spartans shot 44-percent from the field and 47-percent from the three-point line. Defensively Emery rolled, forcing 16 South Sevier turnovers, while logging 12 steals.

February 21- Richfield- Loss 58-41

The Emery Spartans’ championship hopes came to an end with a 58-41 loss to the Richfield Wildcats in the 3A State Championship semifinals at Salt Lake Community College.

Entering the tilt with a 13-game winning streak, the Spartans held an 18-11 lead midway through the second quarter. Untimely turnovers and a surge in the Richfield offense put Emery in a 20-18 hole at half time.

The final two quarters worked against the Spartans in almost every aspect. Seniors Brax Jensen, Jordan Ekker and Justin Rasmussen all fouled out in the fourth quarter and Emery shot a pedestrian 26-percent from the field.

Kyler Wilstead led Emery with 13 points on an efficient 5-of-7 shooting from the field, while also grabbing seven boards. Jensen finished with nine points and four assists, while Riggs Griffin contributed nine points off of the bench.

February 22- Judge Memorial- Win 81-66

The Emery Spartans closed out the boy’s basketball season with an 81-66 win over the Judge Memorial Bulldogs in the third-place game of the 3A State Championship Tournament at Salt Lake Community College.

Trailing 13-11 at the end of the opening quarter, the Spartans outscored the Bulldogs in each of the next three quarters to earn the victory. The tide turned for good as Emery posted a 26-15 run in the third quarter, putting the game out of reach.

Senior Jordan Ekker paced the Spartans in his final game with 23 points on 6-of-13 shooting. Ekker added six boards and six assists to round out a complete performance.

Fellow senior Brax Jensen ended with 19 points, five assists and three steals. Seth Justice continued to shoot well from beyond the arc, scoring 18 points for the second time in three games. A total of seven players scored at least four points in the win.

While Emery shot an efficient 51-percent from the field, defensively they limited Judge Memorial to 43-percent. As a team the Spartans logged 11 steals, forcing 17 Judge turnovers throughout the game.

The win also marked the final game for head coach Todd Jeffs, who has announced his retirement. Jeffs, a staple of the program for close to 40 years, has been the head coach for 32 seasons.

Capping off a 21-win season, Jeffs was named the Coach of the Year by the Utah High School Activities Association and ends his career with 515 wins.

The third-place finish at the State Tournament ends a successful campaign for the Spartans. Finishing 21-4 overall, Emery claimed a Region 12 championship after finishing 9-1 in league play. Before falling to Richfield on Friday night the team had won 13 consecutive games.

Statistical Leaders in Top Categories:

Points Per Game





Brax Jensen



Jordan Ekker



Kyler Wilstead



Justin Rasmussen



Seth Justice


*= No. eight overall in the state all classes

Rebounds Per Game





Kyler Wilstead



Justin Rasmussen



Jordan Ekker



Brax Jensen



Seth Justice


Assists Per Game





Brax Jensen



Jordan Ekker



Kyler Wilstead



Jaxton Madsen



Beau Cook



Seth Justice



Luke Stilson


*= Led the state in all classes

Steals Per Game





Jordan Ekker



Brax Jensen



Kyler Wilstead



Seth Justice



Justin Rasmussen



Riggs Griffin