Game-Winning Shot: Emery Shares His Thoughts on Defeating Two Undefeated Teams in a Row


Robert Barthell, Staff Writer

(UPDATED – This story has been modified to include new information about the Boys’ Basketball team’s similar efforts in a more recent match.)
The Pewaukee Pirates and Middleton Cardinals Boys’ Basketball teams were both undefeated in the entire season, the former even being #1 in the state, but Neenah’s recent matches against both schools resulted in those streaks being broken.

Dec. 23’s game against the Pirates saw a 77-62 victory for the Rockets, while Dec. 29’s game was much closer – 58-55, decided by a final half-court shot which broke the tie in the last two seconds of the game.   Player #3, Chevalier Emery Jr., who threw the last shots in both games, later spoke about the experiences.

Satellite: The videos most people saw on social media were really fast paced, can you break-down what was happening in those fateful moments?

Emery: Pretty much what happened was, 18 seconds left in the game, we had the ball in a tied game 55-55, the coach drew up a play, it didn’t really work out too well.  Eli [Schmidt] gets the ball in the corner, spins, dribbles.  I run toward him and he gives me the ball; one dribble, put it up, and kind of put it in the fate of the basketball gods.  But if I knew I could get a shot, then I knew I would win the game for us.  Very exciting game.

The following questions were answered on the 24th, following the first game.

Satellite: The last time we spoke, you mentioned that you were going against a “really talented squad.”  Does that description reflect your opponents’ performance during tonight’s game?
Emery: Going into the game, we knew this team was going to be a really good team, and they had some really talented guys — even some that are nationally known.  They are a very good 3-point shooting team. Their starting lineup has two Division 1 players and two Division 2 players, so a very talented group.  But we also know that we have some talented guys, and we know that we were kind of like the “underdogs,” so to say, because a lot of other people thought we were gonna lose.  But we knew that we could compete with them, so going into it we prepared really well.  Our coaching staff had a great game plan, and going into it I knew it was going to be a dogfight from the start.  So did our guys, but were the only people that believed in ourselves.

Satellite: How does it feel (personally) to have defeated the #1 team in the state?
Emery: It felt great.  I knew we could win, so making that a reality. I know the guys, and I were really excited.  We all knew at halftime that we can do this because we were up.  Once the time started dwindling down then we kind of knew that we were gonna win, and we all kind of gave each other that look like we had belief.  We told each other that we could do this, and for it to become reality.  It was just a great. It helps our confidence, going into the season.

Satellite: Do the other team members have anything to say?
Emery: Our team just wanted to showcase our talents. It made us very confident that we can beat any team in the state.  A lot of people had some big games like Carter Thomas, Eli Schmidt, JJ Paider, Brady Corso, Matt Jung, Jackson Schlomann, who all had big moments in the game and their own moments that made them show that some of those people are slept on.

Satellite: What was going through your head as you made your now-famous game-ending shot?
Emery: They did the same thing to us last year at their house, so I told my coach: “We would get them back. I’ll do the same thing.” And that’s what happened!

Emery’s last-second shots have garnered thousands of views on Instagram.  After both games, he stayed on the platform much longer, reposting shares of the event on his personal story.  Their next match will be against the Kimberly Papermakers on Tuesday, Jan. 4 at 7:30 p.m., also at home in the Ron Einerson Fieldhouse.