Carbon boys season ends as Judge takes away hope of state
A 47-40 loss to Judge Memorial High Friday night left the Carbon Dino boy's basketball squad and coaches saying goodbye to the season, their seniors and Region 8 as well.
Next season there will be a reconfigured 3A classification with Carbon in Region 10 with American Leadership Academy, Wasatch, Park City and Union.
The Dinos didn't give up their season easily however. Against a very good Judge Memorial High School team they went down fighting until the end. The final score wasn't reflective of the fact that Carbon was within a point of tying the game with a minute and a half left on the clock.
The Dinos actually jumped out on top of Judge in the first quarter and held a four point lead. The offense struggled in the second and the Bulldogs ekked out a two point advantage at the half.
Right out of the locker room from the half time break the Dinos committed several turnovers that Judge capitalized on and suddenly Carbon was in a hole that was tough to climb out of. They did battle back and had a chance at the upset win, but in the final seconds, the Bulldogs hit their free throws and Carbon couldn't match them. The game and the play-off berth went to Judge.
Senior Joey Keller finished his high school career with another 15 point game and Keny Seals added 13.
For Coach Ted Bianco, the hardest thing about the loss was having to say goodbye to the seven seniors that made up the team's core this season.
"These are a great group of young men and they will all go far in life," he stated. "I can't say enough about them and the whole team. They played hard all season and they put (the) team above all."
He then summed up the game that kept them out of the state playoffs.
"We didn't want to lose.," he stated. "The kids worked hard all week and they believed they could win. They played their hearts out and worked hard all game. If we had to lose it was a good way to go out. We needed some shots to fall and they didn't, but the team hung in there and gave themselves an opportunity to win. That's all we can ask."
Bianco had great praise for Keller who has stepped up into the team leader role for two years now. He has watched Keller grow and contribute to the Dinos for four years. Bianco is hoping that the other coaches around the state will give Keller the recognition he deserves in post season awards.
But Keller was not the only player that Bianco had kudos for. They had counted on the big contributions that Tysen Stevens always brought to the game and the team missed him dearly when he had to sit. He did get to return for the final game with Judge.
Bianco made sure he pointed out the hard work and effort from Andrew Quinton who stepped up when Stevens was injured. Also Brandon Gagnon, Keny Seals and point guard Jordan Tatton were a crucial part of this year's squad taking on any role they were asked to do.
Ryan Rasmussen and Dayton Martindale also stepped up their games and were steady and reliable go-to players when they had to be and each had some big shots in critical games.
Despite the losses of seven seniors, Carbon's future still looks strong. With players like Seals, Daniel Peczuh, Justin Child and Clint Finkbiner seeing some good court time this season it looks like Bianco and his coaching staff will have a lot of good talent stepping up to take over the quest next season.