Morgan hands Carbon High an early ticket home at 3A state tournament
Another star performance from an opposing player and a few too many miscues left the Carbon High girls with an early exit after a 55-50 loss to Morgan in the 3A state tournament at Dixie State College.
Led by sophomore McKenzie Schenk's 26 points, Morgan pulled away from Carbon late in the third quarter holding onto their lead despite a furious rally by Carbon in the final minutes.
Carbon High head coach Ted Bianco said his team had a great year despite the quick exit from the tournament.
"We had a great year making it to state," Bianco said after the game. "The last two games don't reflect how the team played all season long."
Carbon took an early 11-4 lead in the first quarter thanks to four steals by senior Miranda Averett. Morgan, the Region 11 champions, got back into the game with an 8-0 run to end the quarter with the lead 12-11. Despite the steals, Carbon began racking up turnovers and were unable to convert opportunities on offense.
After getting even with Morgan at 30 midway through the third quarter, Schenk hit a three-pointer giving Morgan a 33-30 lead, one they would not give back.
Carbon did have chances to cut into the lead in the fourth quarter. Morgan's head coach Brad Matthews was called for a technical foul after senior center Kelsey Henry picked up her fifth foul. Junior Ashley Quinton hit both free-throws for the foul, but senior Miranda Averett missed both technical free-throws.
Down by nine, Carbon began cutting into the Morgan lead cutting it to 46-41 with three minutes left. After fouling Morgan readily down the stretch to extend the game, senior Rachel Scoggins hit a three-pointer from the left corner that cut the lead to 53-50 with 26.4 seconds left. But Schenk hit one of two free-throws on the other end to help seal the game for Trojans.
"The girls fought to the very end, giving lots of effort and never showing any quit," Bianco said.
Bianco said the team had a rough stretch with shooting and free-throws in the tournament, which if they made could have changed the outcomes of both games. Carbon shot 16-of-28 (57.1 percent) from the free-throw line, compared to Morgan with 19-of-31 (61.3 percent).
Their bracket in the tournament was no easier. Both Schenk and Judge Memorial's Kailie Quinn are two of the top players in 3A and each played well in the tournament.
For Carbon's seven seniors, it was their final game after a two-year successful run getting to the state tournament two straight years. While they wanted a better ending, Bianco said he told his team to remember the hard work they put in all year long.
"They are winners no matter what happened," he said. "The girls have represented the school well and hung in there with every game and never gave up at any point."
Averett and Amanda Freestone led Carbon with 12 points each. Seniors Lexi Gagon, Regan Powell and Scoggins each finished with seven points.
The Region 12 champion Carbon High Lady Dinos finished the 2011-12 season with an overall record of 16-7.