Carbon girls take the fifth
It was a team that lost almost every started from last year to graduation. It was a team with no seniors and only a few juniors on it. It was a team where the pressure rode on the shoulders of freshmen and many who had seen limited playing time the previous year. A new look and a new powerful region and yet the team proved itself a contender.
The Lady Dinos finished regular season play in third place and then played the long odds to get into the play-offs with an upset win over Desert Hills. They lost in the first round 40-35 to another up-start team from Juab. But the girls from Carbon bounced back and rolled over Emery 56-39 before taking out Wasatch 35-33 to garner fifth place overall.
Carbon opened up the tournament with a 9:00 pm game against the Juab Wasps. Juab was a fourth place seed and Carbon was a third place seed. The Lady Dinos jumped out first and were up by three. Juab began whittling away at their deficit and by the end of the third had the two point advantage. Even as the time ticked away, Carbon just couldn't close the gap and Juab continued their Cinderella run for one more game. Tia Pappas put up 14 points and grabbed 7 steals for the Dinos. Kristen Jewkes went four for four at the line. Sara Potts pulled in five rebounds to lead the defense.
Now with a guarantee of at least a fourth place finish gone, Carbon turned their attention to making sure they snagged the fifth place honor. Emery now stood in their way and the Spartans had beaten the Dinos twice this season already. Emery took the first quarter of play by a pair, but then it was all Carbon as they outscored them in the final three quarters to leave no doubt who wanted it more.
Pappas again led the way for carbon with 22 points. Miranda Averett added 13 to the win. Four Dinos hit the boards for five rebounds. Averett and Pappas, Kylee Lessar and Mariah Pollock combined for 20 boards. Pollock had five steals and Pappas had a pair of blocks as well.
Finally they had to face region rival Wasatch. The Wasps had also beaten them in their earlier meetings, but again it was play-off time and the intensity level was even higher. The first have belonged to Wasatch and Carbon headed to the locker room trailing by nine. The second half was Dino time and by the end of the third they had closed the deficit to two. The final period was a defensive duel and Carbon held the Wasps to three points while they managed to hit seven and take the win by a mere two points.
Pappas was the Carbon player of the game for all three games of the tournament. Against Wasatch she led the way with 18 points and pair of rebounds and assist and a steal. Miranda Averett pulled in six boards and four steals.
Coach Cami Carlson summed it all up, "Against Juab we played scared. Tia Pappas was the only player we had that had play-off experience. It showed and the team tried a little too hard and actually over compensated and ended up out of position. Juab played hard and really wanted the win. We were all frustrated at the end because we knew we could have won that game."
"We weren't sure how the girls would respond. Emery came out without any fire and our girls did. I give our post a lot of credit because they shut down the Spartan post and we didn't look scared at all in this game. I am really proud of the way they responded. They didn't hang their heads and quit."
She went on to say, "Wasatch came out and led the entire first half. So in the locker room we talked and I told them they had nothing to lose. They needed to give it their all because they only had one half of basketball left in the season. That's exactly what they did. Our defense picked it up and shut down their scoring that had been unstoppable in the first half and we got the win."