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High school basketball: Judge posts convincing win over Emery

Judge Memorial's Zach Myaer takes the ball to the basket in Friday's game.
Judge Memorial's Zach Myaer takes the ball to the basket in Friday's game.
Keith Johnson, Keith Johnson

OREM — Unlike the quarterfinals, when Judge had to sweat out an overtime victory over Desert Hills, the Bulldogs had a much easier time of it in the 3A semifinals Friday night.

Point guard Zach Myaer was outstanding from the opening whistle, and Judge rode his effort to a convincing 56-46 victory over Emery in the nightcap at Utah Valley University.

Myaer finished with 20 points, seven steals, five rebounds and three assists as Judge earned a wire-to-wire victory to extend its winning streak to 11 straight.

Judge will now face Wasatch in today's 3A state championship game at 4 p.m. The teams haven't met this year, but the former region foes have had some great battles in the past decade and Saturday's championship figures to be another.

"This is the third time we've played them in the finals in the last decade," said Judge coach Jim Yerkovich.

Judge only shot 40 percent from the field and 59 percent from the foul line, but that was plenty on a night when Emery was only shooting 31 percent.

It was especially plenty considering the defensive job Myaer did on Emery point guard Nevin Jensen. The senior came into the game averaging 18.2 ppg, but Myaer and his teammates held him to just 10 points.

In fact, if it wasn't for Emery big man Colton Barnett the Spartans might have been blown out by halftime. He scored 12 of his team's 14 first-half points as Judge opened up a 25-14 lead at the half.

"I've been real pleased with them for the whole tournament," said Yerkovich about his team's quick start. "I think they've learned they have to play hard."

Judge continued to dominate in the second half and extended the advantage to 49-30 at one point, before Emery made a late run and made the final score respectable.

"That stretch right there we were playing pretty good. We were taking care of the ball, making good passes, sharing the ball," said Yerkovich.

Another player who came up big for the Bulldogs was Basil Vetas, who picked the perfect night to score a career-high 17 points.

In the loss, Barnett finished with 20 points and 16 rebounds.

e-mail: jedward@desnews.com