Semifinal day for 3A girls state basketball ended with Morgan and Emery both earning their ticket to the final game of the year. 

Morgan outlasted a surging Carbon to take a 59-50 win, while Emery put Grantsville away in a 69-52 game. 

“Everyone was a little excited and nervous through the first half, but I think we settled in,” said Morgan head coach Sterling Mack. “Carbon did a wonderful job executing in the post and doubling down.” 

Carbon’s girls were able to pull within two and three points throughout the third quarter. Makenna Blanc, who ended the night with 12 points, fired off a 3-pointer to knot the game with 45.5 seconds to go in the third.  

Mack credited his team with being about to withstand the momentum shift.  

“With any team sport, if they can like each other off the court, it becomes easier to handle adversity,” Mack said. 

Morgan’s Alexandria Trussell drew the foul and added two from the foul line, which teammate Janel Blazzard followed up on with an inside jump shot to make the game 45-41 in favor of Morgan as the final period began.  

Carbon kept the pressure on throughout the final stanza, and closed within one point thanks to a 3-pointer from Blanc with about two minutes to go.  

“We adjusted a little bit in the second half and finished with the guards at the line,” Mack said.

Morgan’s girls were able to close out the game with 51 percent shooting from the field, and 76 percent from the line.  

Next for Morgan is the championship against Emery. 

“It’s the championship so we have to come in and execute at the beginning and at the end,” Mack said. “We have to use everyone, don’t over dribble and don’t over pass, use solid defense and communicate.” 

Mack said his team has demonstrated resilience through the tournament so far, which it will need in Saturday’s title bout against Emery, a team that went 9-1 in region play and came into the tournament with the number two seed. 

“It’s been our goal the whole time and we’re glad to be here,” said Emery coach Lynn Tuttle. “Defensively, we knew we could win it. As a coach I was just hoping the offense would find us, and it did.” 

Emery’s Tatum Tanner nabbed nine rebounds and proved to be vexing to the Grantsville offense.  

“She did a great job going straight up and not getting in foul trouble,” Tuttle said.  

Tatum was also one of five Spartans to score in double digits. Baylee Jacobson pulled out a double-double with 10 boards and 18 points. Tabmrie Tuttle also posted 18 points. Bethany Justice had 11, and Adaley Lester scored 10.

In the final stanza Emery nailed 17 of 18 free throws, and shot 90 percent from the charity stripe for the game. 

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“I’m dang proud of my girls and how they showed up,” Tuttle said.  

The championship will be the second time Emery and Morgan have met this season. Emery defeated Morgan 63-34 in the first game of the year back in December, but Tuttle isn’t taking anything for granted. 

“They’re a totally different ball club right now,” Tuttle said.  

The two teams play at 4:30 p.m. Saturday at the Sevier Valley Center in Richfield. 

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