St. George • The rematch has been set.
Emery advanced to Saturday’s Class 3A state championship game against Region 15 rival Richfield with Friday’s dominating 56-36 victory over Grantsville.
“This win really meant a lot to us,” Emery’s Kacelyn Toomer said. “We practiced and worked so hard all year to get to this point, and we are so excited to get back in the championship game.”
Emery’s coaches and players already are looking forward to a better ending this time around after falling in last year’s 2A state title game in overtime.
“We are ready to put it behind us,” Toomer said about last year’s title game loss. “Richfield is a good team, and it’s going to be a great game. We can’t wait.”
Emery coach Lynn Tuttle said: “It’s going to be a grudge match for sure. The upside for us is that we haven’t put together a complete game against them yet.”
Despite having just one senior on the team, Emery didn’t play like a young team and showed why the Spartans have lost just one game this season.
Emery opened the game on fire and raced out to a 19-9 lead thanks to its blistering shooting performance from beyond the arc. Lainee Jensen had two 3-pointers and Toomer added another as the Spartans took control right from the start.
After an 8-3 run by the Cowboys, Emery went on a run to push the lead back to double-digits and never looked back.
Emery was led by Toomer, who scored a game-high 17 points and added four steals. Megan Jensen nearly had a double-double as the 6-foot-3 junior had 12 points, nine rebounds and a game-high five blocked shots. Lainee Jensen chipped in nine points and three rebounds, while Bailey Huggard added eight points and seven rebounds for the Spartans.
“We have a lot of weapons on offense, but tonight Kacelyn got it going and had another big game for us,” Tuttle said.
Grantsville was led by Madison Fields, who had a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
Despite just one loss this season, the Spartans were given the No. 2 seed after splitting games with region rival Richfield, which also finished 11-1 in region play. A coin toss was used to determine seeding and left Emery with the tougher road to the championship game.
“It was definitely added motivation for us,” Toomer said. “We wanted to win the region title outright, but that loss humbled us and really helped us focus and prepare us for the playoffs.”
Saturday’s 3A championship game between Emery (24-1) and Richfield (22-2) tips at 5 p.m. in the Burns Arena.