|Erika Potts fights for position in the post. Erika has been a team leader for the Dinos all season long and continued to fill that roll with her tough play at the state tournament.|
It is hard to believe that the Lady Dinos would play the top three teams in the state 3A tournament and lose two of three games by a mere four points total, beat the number two ranked team by five and still end up in sixth place overall. But that was the fate of the Carbon Dinos this year.
The Carbon Dinos knew the road to the championship was going to run through Wasatch. They had played them early in the season when both teams were ranked. The Wasps soundly defeated the Dinos by 21 points. Wasatch stayed at the top all season and the Dinos moved up and down the rankings as their season went on.
But the Dinos would not lay down and take defeat, they came to play and they came to win. It was a new look to the Dinos as they took to the floor. With Julia Potts out and Freshman Tia Pappas getting the starting nod they were not the same team that Wasatch had seen before. In the blink of an eye they had the Wasps back on their heels and reeling. The first quarter ended with the Dinos up 12-2.
Unfortunately the Wasps began to shake off their doldrums and slowly worked their way back into the game, outscoring the Dinos 13-8 in the second quarter. Carbon found its lead down to five by the half. Still Carbon believed the game was theirs to take.
But the Wasps continued to outscore the Dinos and by the third the lead had changes hands and Wasatch had the lead by three. In the fourth neither team could mount much offense as both defenses cracked down. With a little over five minutes to play and a one point lead, the Wasps went into a four corner stall and just stood and held the ball as the clock ticked down. The Dinos were helpless until Wasatch made its move. Doing everything in their power, the Dinos had one more chance at tying the game but the ball hit the rim and bounced out as the clock ticked out.
Wasatch had held on and the Dinos were headed to the consolation bracket. Emotions were high as the team left the court to regroup for the Friday match-up. Megan Garvin was the Dinos top scorer with 12 points. Patricia Smith had nine.
"The team was ready to play and believed they could beat them (Wasatch)" said Coach Cami Carlson on Friday. "I can't ask for anymore than they gave, we just ran out of steam in the final minutes and Wasatch knew how to regroup and make their comeback." Carlson knew how devastated her team had been, but she said they got together and knew they could either mope around or get themselves ready to play. They chose to be ready.
A re-energized team hit the court on Friday morning. They had just watched Emery lose to Canyonview and were not going to let the same fate happen to them. Grantsville was their opponent and had only lost two games all season. Grantsville was also reeling from their loss to Hurricane the night before. Both teams hit the floor with intensity as neither wanted to end their season in this game.
Carbon again grabbed the lead, but this time the Cowboys wouldn't let them open it up and kept themselves right in the game. At the quarter the Dinos held a three point lead. The next quarter was a seesaw affair with each team posting 11 points. The differential was in the foul calls, the Dinos had nine against them and Grantsville only had three. Luckily Grantsville was cold from the line.
The third quarter again saw the teams trading points. This time it was the Cowboys racking up the fouls and Carbon making the trip to the line. The Dinos sunk most of their shots. The three point Dino advantage was intact after three quarters.
The fourth quarter was a nail biter all the way. Grantsville even had the lead for a brief period, but the Dinos took it back. With 6.6 seconds left in the game Carbon held a four point lead. Grantsville ran down and quickly hit a three and the game was back to a one point lead with 18.2 seconds left. The Cowboys quickly fouled Erika Potts who hit a pair of free throws. Carbon stole the ball and Patricia Smith stole the ball. Grantsville intentionally fouled her and she sunk both of her shots and the Dinos retained possession and the win.
The emotions were much different after this game. Coach Carlson could not say enough about how she was impressed with the team's ability to shake off the disappointment and come out and play hard. "They sat down and decided what they wanted to do and they came out and played their game." She s added, "We handed Grantsville only their third loss. This was no easy team to beat."
The bad news for the Dinos was that they lost two more players to injury. Kayla Namanny hit the floor and dislocated her shoulder in the second quarter and Emily Cox sprained her ankle as she battled for a rebound. They join Julia Potts and Joy Malone, who is out with an ankle sprain on the bench for the final game of the season.
But what was left of the squad again came out ready to play. Canyonview was ranked number three in 3A going into the tournament. Carbon had already lost by a hair to the number one seed Wasatch and beat the number two seeded Grantsville so nothing was going to faze them now.
By the end of the first, Carbon had a slight three point lead. The Falcons kept making a run for it, but the Dinos were able to stay one step ahead and the lead had grown to five at the break.
Carbon went cold in the third. They could not get a shot to fall. The Falcons added ten and it was tied at the end of the third. The fourth quarter was all defense, neither team could break through and score. With five seconds on the clock Canyonview took a one point lead. The Dinos took the ball down and after several time outs to strategize, Garvin drove in for the shot. Bodies collided and contact was made, but time ran out without a whistle and the shot rolled around the rim and came out.
The season was over. The team left with their heads held high despite overwhelming disappointment at what could have been. Garvin led her final game with 10 points. Patricia Smith put up eight. The Dinos held two of the best scores in the state to five and six points each. Garvin hit the only three for the Dinos.
Coach Carlson summed up the tournament and the season by saying what many others had already said as they watched the scrappy little team, "They had a lot of heart. They drew the toughest bracket and played all the top teams and never quit." The coach of the Wasps said after their scare by Carbon that it was one of the best coached teams he had seen all season and they (Wasatch) had won by luck.
With a great core coming back; including the Smith Sisters, Tia Pappas, Britni Greenwood, Karlee Martino and Emily Cox, expect to see another great year of basketball for the 08-09 season.