Morgan sends Dinos home early with 86-49 loss
With a flip of a coin, the Carbon High boys basketball team was given an unenviable task. Beat a team favored to win the 3A State Championship. And do so on their home floor.
The Morgan Trojans used a pressure style defense for all 32 minutes that the Dinos struggled with all game long racking up plenty of turnovers that the Trojans took advantage of early for an 86-49 win on Friday night in the first round of the 3A Tournament.
The Dinos kept things close in the first quarter as they battled back from an early 19-9 deficit to finish the quarter down 23-17.
But struggles on offense and turnovers gave Morgan plenty of opportunities to rack up points building a lead that Carbon would not overcome. The Dinos endured a five minute scoreless streak in the second quarter while Jake Miles and the Trojans built a 51-24 lead heading into halftime.
Things did not change in the second half as the Dinos continued to have trouble breaking through the Morgan defense. Morgan grabbed its biggest lead of the game at 44 points late in the fourth quarter.
CHS head coach Jeff Cisneros said his team was dealt a tough break having to travel to Morgan and go up against a team expected to contend for a championship.
"They (Morgan) pressured us all game long. They tried to wear us down and it worked," Cisneros said after the game.
After losing their season finale to Delta on Feb. 7, Carbon lost a tiebreaker coin toss that sent them to Morgan instead of playing a team they beat earlier this season in Ben Lomond.
Carbon was also playing without starter Jordan Blanc after he underwent knee surgery the day before the game.
One highlight for the Dinos came late in the game as Derek Young got a breakaway steal and with no one near him, he emphatically dunked the ball giving the team one highlight on an otherwise difficult night.
"We've been begging Derek to dunk it all year long and he dunked that one with ease," Cisneros said. "The guys will never forget that moment."
Despite dealing with early foul trouble, Young led the Dinos with 17 points. Michael Peczuh added 11 points.
While the Dinos ended the season on a down note, Cisneros said he was pleased with the effort the team showed over the course of an up-and-down year filled with injuries, tough defeats and much more.
"I'm so proud of everything they've done this season and I couldn't have asked for any more from them," he explained. "They were shorthanded but they continued to play as hard as they could. The character these guys have will help carry them through the rest of their lives."
With six seniors graduating, Cisneros said next year's squad will have a lot of new players that will be given a chance to step up.
"I'm excited about the players that are coming back next year but we'll have a lot of work ahead of us," he said.
The Dinos finished the season with an overall record of 11-12 including a 4-6 record in Region 12 play.