For a while Wednesday evening it appeared that the Emmett Huskies were going to see their basketball season come to an end. Then it appeared it might get extended about five minutes. But senior Steve Howe drilled a timely 3-point shot with 9.2 seconds left to lift the Huskies to a 60-57 win over Vallivue.
The win raised Emmett to sixth in the Southern Idaho Conference and at least a two-game extension of the season into the District III double-elimination tournament. After a 49-31 loss at Columbia on Saturday, however, the Huskies are back to a sudden-death scenario for their season on Wednesday in a win or go home game with a yet to be determined opponent.
Despite the struggles and the loss at Columbia to open District III play on Saturday, the Wednesday evening finale at Senior Night was one that will be remembered for quite some time by the team and many in the near-capacity crowd.
It took Emmett a while to get untracked against Vallivue. Nearly six minutes to be exact. The visitors jumped out to an 11-1 lead before Dakota Perry got the Huskies first field goal with 2:23 remaining in the first quarter. The rally pulled the teams even at 14-all three minutes into the second quarter. Emmett finally got the upper hand on back to back threes by Perry and a third trey by Kaden Kuhn for a 29-24 halftime lead.
But Vallivue wouldn’t go away — particularly Jace Martinez. The Falcon’s junior guard scored 30 points, including hitting 19 of 21 free throw attempts. Four straight charity conversions by Martinez pushed Vallivue on top 53-50 with less than three minutes to play. Then Brandon Weekes hit two of three free throws and Perry added five straight points to move Emmett up 57-53. Martinez freebies knotted the game at 57. But after each team committed a couple of pressured turnovers, Howe was left open three feet behind the three-point line, dribbled once and stepped toward the line to launch the successful three.
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Emmett, leading by three, intentionally fouled someone other than Martinez. It worked. Both free throws were missed, Huskies rebounded and ran out the clock and extended the season.
Perry had a season high 19 points with Howe chipping in 13 and Weekes nine.
Saturday at Columbia was a tale of lots of hustle but inability to convert. The Huskies pulled down 21 offensive rebounds but only scored four points off those extra possessions in falling to third-seed Columbia. Emmett converted only one of 11 free throw attempts. Weekes scored 16 points, including nine of Emmett’s ten third-quarter points, and pulled down 13 rebounds.
Emmett will likely face the loser of a Monday semi-final between Skyview and Columbia in the elimination game on Wednesday. The elimination games will be played at 6 and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Ridgevue High.