|Anxiety shows on the faces of the players and coach as they watch their fellow Dinos struggle to claw and fight their way back into the game.|
Two region losses have put the Dino play-off hopes in jeopardy this season. On Wednesday they were edged out 61-64 by North Sanpete. On Friday they could not seem to get control of the Emery Spartans and lost to them 59-69.
As of Saturday, Emery and Carbon are sitting at the bottom of the pile with identical 2-5 region records. Juan Diego is just above at 2-4. The Dinos will be taking on Juan Diego on the road this Wednesday for their final game in regular season. They have beat JD already and the win would move them back into third place in the region. Emery has to face off with North Sanpete, a team whom they lost to earlier.
In the game against North Sanpete it was the second quarter that put the Dinos in a hole. Down by two at the end of the first, they let the deficit grow to seven by the half. In the third they cut the lead to four. And in the fourth they outscored the Hawks again, but it wasn't enough to get the job done and they fell three short of sending the game to OT.
The Dinos were led by Joey Keller's 17. Erik Buchmiller added 11 and Tyler Bean hit double figures with 10. Tysen Stevens was hot from the three point line and made all of his nine off the long ball shot.
Friday nights match-up with Emery was a typical rivalry game, filled with emotions and a play-off spot at stake. Before the game even started Emery was hit with a technical foul and Ryan Rasmussen hit both shots to give the Dinos a two point advantage before the clock even started. With the Dinos retaining possession, they again went to the foul line and were up by four quickly. Then the well went dry and for most of the first, they could not get a shot to fall. They had many looks at the basket, but shot after shot clanked harmlessly off the rim and into the hands of the waiting Spartans.
|Erik Buchmiller is sent flying after driving in for a shot.|
Emery did not struggle with the same fate as the Dinos. They were able to capitalize on their possessions and found themselves up 19-8 at the break. The Dinos then found their stroke and doubled their first quarter total in the second with 18 points. The Spartan lead was 10 at the half.
The third quarter saw the Dino deficit grow to 15 and it looked for a while like the game was sewed up for Emery. But Carbon continued to battle and with 1:10 left on the clock had pulled within five. After a couple of foul calls that had the Carbon fans hot, someone threw a t-shirt out on the floor and the Dinos were hit with a technical. The Spartans sank both shots and retained possession, the Dinos never could recover.
Keller was the only Dino in double figures with 20. Bean hit two threes. The Dino offensive highlights were few and far between. Several Dinos fouled out of the game late and a very emotional team headed to the locker room. The coaches remained in the locker room long after the game was over.
Principal Greg Stanfield commented about the loss, "It was a hard fought game between both teams. They both felt there was a lot at stake tonight. Emery jumped on us first and we were unable to dig our way out. Now we have to focus on beating Juan Diego and taking care of business."
Carbons last home game will be against Juan Diego on Wednesday. If they make the play-offs, they will play their first game on the road.