Vikings lose big effort league game
|The Vikings Josh Griffiths scored 14 points in the game against West Desert on Friday night. That total was second only to Tony McFarland who put in 20 points, had 17 rebounds, eight blocks and six steals.|
It's the next to longest ride in the state to get to a game. The only one longer is the trip to Navajo Mountain and at least it is all on paved roads.
The East Carbon Viking boys basketball team took the annual pilgrimage to Trout Creek to face the West Desert Hawks and lost 69-55 Friday night. But that is just part of the story.
"I'd never taken that ride before," said coach Jeff Cisneros.
"It's such a long trip and then at the end the bus travels over 60 miles of washboard dirt roads that goes up and down through washes. I was actually sick when we got there."
On top of the trip, Cisnero's team was also very short handed. A total of four players didn't make the trip, one has apparently quit the team, another reported has decided to only wrestle (a number of the players on this team wrestle as well as play basketball for the school), one was out on a grade problem and another was sick. That brought down the team's total of players available to nine, with both a junior varsity and a varsity game to play that night.
"It was tough," said Cisneros. "I had to play three of the varsity players in the JV game and they worked hard only losing to the Hawks by four points. Then those same players had to play almost a whole game against their varsity squad."
The West Desert team took advantage of the short handedness right from the beginning. They jumped off to a 18-11 lead at the end of the first quarter and then took a 35-21 lead into the locker room at halftime. However things changed in the third quarter.
Tired as they were, East Carbon came out ferociously from the break. They played the whole floor and executed well getting them within four points of the Hawks about midway through the period. However, West Desert responded and actually came back and recaptured the same lead they had at the end of the first half by matching the Vikings 16 points for the quarter.
In the fourth the East Carbon kids still had the fire, but their energy was wearing down. They were able to match the Hawks point for point, but couldn't gain anything.
"We played the best game we have all year," said Cisneros. "We executed pretty well. The kids were enthused after the game even though we lost because they feel they made some real progress. And we hung in there well, even though three kids fouled out. Even though it was a loss it will definitely help our spirits."
Tony McFarland, first team all state last year, finally had a big break out game. He had done well this year, but his numbers were not where they have been in the past. Against the Hawks he scored 20 points had 17 rebounds, eight blocks and six steals. He was dominant.
Also helping the cause a great deal was Josh Griffiths who had 13 points and Austin Preston who scored 10.
"I'm excited," said Cisneros. "Even with the setbacks we have come a long way."
They will need some strong enthusiasm this week because on Wednesday they travel to Mount Pleasant and face Wasatch Academy, a team that is ranked in the top five 1A teams in the state.
Friday they have the first home league game against Tintic in the Viking gym at 7 p.m.