Carbon Dinos battle their way through Warrior Classic
|Dayton Martindale shoots a three in an earlier game. Martindale hit a critical three in the final minutes of the game against Central Colorado on Saturday to aid the Dinos heavily in the tight contest.|
For a team looking to sharpen its skills before region play begins, the Warrior Classic tournament in Fruita, Colorado is the place to be. Going head to head with larger 5A schools is guaranteed to give the Carbon Dinos everything needed to play at their best.
With their toughest match-up on Thursday against a powerful Grand Junction team, the Dinos struggled and lost 31-62. But as the tournament went on, their confidence and play rose to the occasion. They were eked out of a win on Friday, 41-44. Then on Saturday came from a five point deficit in the final seconds and took the game 67-65 in overtime.
In the eyes of Coach Ted Bianco, Grand Junction was probably the toughest team Carbon will face all season. Even though no one really stepped up and took control for the Dinos, Joey Keller and Mike Sacco had a pretty good game in the face of the loss. Sophomores Kenny Seals and Daniel Peczuh got to see some of their first varsity action and held their own against the tougher 5A opponents.
On Friday the team faced Fruita and regained some of their composer. They played more as a team and were in the game all of the way. They even held the lead for some of the game. Bianco was happy that they came back from the loss and held their own, giving themselves a chance to win the game. In the end they came up just a bit short, losing by three. Sacco and Jason Childs again showed some good team leadership in the game.
It was Saturday that the team really started to gel. "A total team effort," stated Bianco about the Saturday win. The Dinos had to reach down deep to pull a victory out of what could have been their third loss of the tournament.
|Carbon's Tyler Bean pushes the ball up the floor against Uintah. |
With minutes left to play, down by five, sophomore Dayton Martindale hit a three to pull the Dinos within two. Eric Buchmiller forced a steal and Jordan Tatton drained the shot to sent it into overtime.
In the extra period Martindale scored all four of the Dinos points to secure the win. Tysen Stevens and Keller also had a great game. The team really came together on the defensive side of their game.
Coach Bianco was pleased with the way his team played as a solid unit and responded well. He feels that they still need to do a better job of taking care of the ball. "We still have too many turnovers and we need to work on that," said Bianco.
The team heads down to Emery this weekend to play in another tournament. They will face Park City on Friday night and Cedar City on Saturday. Both games will tip-off at 6:30 p.m. at Emery High.