Julia Potts looks for the ball as an Emery player holds on to her. The Lady Dinos fell 40-37 to the Lady Spartans.
Carbon's Tia Pappas drives hard against an Emery defender during Tuesday nights game.
There is almost no chance the Lady Dinos will get a number one seed this year. No hope that a coin toss could go their way.
That's because the Lady Spartans completed their sweep again this year over Carbon with a 40-37 win that all but guarantees the Emery girls a Region 8 title. Because of that Carbon will probably settle for second place.
With several powerhouse teams from around the state heading for the tournament, neither seeding will be a cake walk. But going in as a first place seed is about pride and the mental edge it gives a team over their lower seeded opponent.
In front of the biggest crowd they have had in their gym this season, Carbon started off with seven quick points and then struggled to score again until far into the second period. Even then they only put up four points in that period.
Emery, on the other hand, took a while to get going, but once they got rolling they caught up quickly.
The Dinos took a lot of shots in the first half, but just couldn't get them to fall. They shot a mere 20 percent in the half. On the other end of the court Emery hit 54 percent of their shots.
At the half the scoreboard read Emery 17, Dinos 13.
The locker room chat at halftime seemed to help Carbon's confidence and they came our playing with intensity once again. They quickly erased the deficit and even grabbed a small advantage.
But the Spartans just kept coming at them and for the rest of the game the two would trade the momentum as well as the lead.
But the early second half shooting confidence of the Lady Dinos seemed to wane in the final minutes of the game. They fell into a perimeter passing set and hesitated to shoot as seconds ticked off the clock.
The Dino defense did what they needed to keep the Spartans from running away with the game, but Carbon just could not get their offense on track.
As the intensity of the game increased, Carbon's Britni Greenwood connected with an Emery player and went down. She had to be helped off the court and was out for most of the rest of the game.
"I felt her (the Emery players) elbow hit my jaw and then I don't remember much," she said after the game. "It rattled my head pretty hard."
Greenwood was called for the foul in connection with the contact.
The Dinos pulled back to within three points of Emery and then turned the ball over. Emery took it out, deep in the Dino territory, with about two seconds left. On the in-bound pass, Carbon forced Emery to cough it up and got it into the hands of Tia Pappas for one last attempt. She let it fly from beyond the three point line and it rattled the rim, but bounced off as the buzzer sounded.
For the game the Dinos only had one player in double figures. Patricia Smith put up 14 points and forced six steals. She was six for six from the line and was the Carbon player of the game. Pappas had nine points, three picks and a pair of rebounds in the losing effort.
In summing up the game, Coach Cami Carlson was pretty calm.
"I'm not disappointed in their effort tonight," she said. "They could just not get their shots to fall. This was the worst shooting percentage we have had all season. They fought back when they got down and a few turnovers cost us. But we did what we could and gave ourselves a chance until the end."
The Lady Dinos still have Salem Hills and Delta High Schools to play at home before the regular season is over. They also have Juan Diego away. If the Lady Dinos remain focused, these should be easy games.
Delta will be the final test. The Lady Rabbits will be fighting for a better seed and looking to knock off the Dinos so that game will be a tough one.
Salem Hills will be visiting the Dinos on Thursday with a tip off at 7:00 in the Carbon High gym.