ECH Boys Halfway Through Region 18 Play
|Kyle Leonard drives the ball past a Dugway defender in a game hosted at East Carbon High earlier this year. The small Viking team has struggled up to the midway mark of the season but coach Jeff Cisneros feels that improvements have been constantly taking place. As the season progresses, Cisneros feels that the Vikes will capture it's share of wins.|
"'We're halfway through the league season and I hope before it's over we can pick up a couple of wins."
Those were the words of Jeff Cisneros, head boys basketball coach at East Carbon High on Monday morning after his team had lost two more games during the last week, being defeated by Meridian in Provo 73-39 Wednesday and then losing at home to Wendover 62-45 on Friday.
The team (now 0-6 in Region 18 play and 0-13 overall) have looked very good at times during games this season, yet in those same games they have also had some periods of weak play that have cost them dearly.
"The second and third periods of games have been our downfall all year," he stated. "At the end of the first period of almost every game we are either ahead of the opposition or in a very close game, then things just seem to go bad for the next two quarters."
That was the exact pattern in both games last week and it seems everyone is frustrated by it. In the Meridian game the ECH boys were only behind 17-13 at the end of the first period and then the Mongooses took off in the second quarter outscoring the Vikings 19-2.
"The other teams do nothing different," says the coach. "They apply no more pressure, it's just that we seem to not be able to execute like I know we can. It's hard to figure out."
As for the rest of that game, it remained true to the form established by Meridian in the third as they ripped the kids from East Carbon 19-6.
In the final period the Vikings scored a healthy 18 points but it was matched by the Provo clubs 18 as well.
High scorer for the game was Tony McFarland with 18 points. He also had six rebounds. Next in line was Josh Griffiths with seven points.
On Friday night things looked better in the beginning, but again degenerated as fouls took their toll on the Viking squad.
"I got my first technical of the season," said Cisneros of the call on him in the second half. "I guess it's just the frustration of what I see as unequal calling of fouls."
East Carbon started out strong as they led at the end of the first period 12-8.
"I thought all along we could win the game against Wendover and that just reinforced the way I felt," said the coach. "But things changed after that."
The second period saw the Wildcats capture the quarter with 18 points to the Vikings 10. That still put the ECH team only four points behind at the half.
It was the third quarter when things fell apart. Cisneros had to take out McFarland and Austin Preston for a few minutes because of fouls and Wendover went wild scoring 23 points to the Vikings 7.
"McFarland got three offensive fouls in a short period of time and that's went I got mad," said Cisneros.
In the fourth quarter the team came back and scored 13 points while Wendover put up 15. But it was that third period that killed the East Carbon squad.
High scorer for the game was McFarland with 19. Preston and Griffiths each scored 10. Andy Farlaino turned in a big rebounding game by pulling down 12 boards.
Now the team begins the second half of the league season by playing two games at home this week. First on Wednesday night they played West Desert at 6 p.m. Then on Friday they have a 7 p.m. start against Wasatch Academy, the number one ranked 1A team in the state.
"Our biggest problem is turnovers," noted Cisneros. "We are averaging 26 a game this year. Actually in the Wendover game we were under that average. We only had 23."
Not much solace with some big games coming up. Yet hope always springs eternal and the Vikings have showed some real toughness in a couple of overtime losses this year.
And they still have half of season to use what they have learned to garner some victories.