Payson defenders crowd around Carbon's Jordan Blanc in the paint as he looks for his teammates. Blanc led the Dinos with 19 points and made several baskets to help keep the game close down the stretch.
For the second time in three games, the game came down to the final seconds for the Carbon High boys basketball team. And for the second time in a week, the Dinos were left heartbroken from a last second 51-50 loss against Payson on Friday nigaht at the CHS gymnasium.
Region 12 leading Payson, ranked as high as third among class 3A teams by publications, had to battle back against a tough Carbon challenge to get the road victory.
Carbon took an early 15-9 lead at the end of the first quarter and kept a two point lead heading into the half.
But in the second half, Payson began to gain control of the game. With one minute left, Payson held a three point lead 49-46 before Carbon's Jordan Blanc made a layup to cut the lead down to one.
With the clock winding down, Payson played keep away from the Dinos before Derek Young fouled Payson's Tanner Newbold with 13 seconds left. Newbold hit both free throws to make it 51-48.
Carbon got the ball back with a chance to tie it with a three pointer. With time winding down Dakota Cisneros found Young down in the paint for another basket to make it 51-50. Unfortunately for the Dinos, the play took too much time off the clock as only .5 seconds remained. Payson threw the inbound pass high in the air, but Blanc intercepted the pass and heaved a half-court shot that went over the back of the backboard as the buzzer went off.
Carbon High head coach Jeff Cisneros said the team got the shot they were looking for, but too much time elapsed.
"We got what we wanted in that situation but it just took too long to develop," Cisneros said.
Cisneros said he was pleased with the improved effort the team showed against a tough Payson team.
"We've worked on defense all week long and it really showed tonight," he said.
Blanc led the Dinos with a team-high 19 points. Young finished with 12 points and Tanner Gagnon added 10.
Payson (13-4, 6-0 Region 12) was led behind 21 points from Clint Bateman. Newbold finished with 17 points for the Lions.
With their third consecutive loss, Carbon (9-7, 2-4 Region 12) now has some work left to do if they want to stay in contention to make the state tournament.
Carbon's remaining games start tonight as the team travels to Spanish Fork for region game at 7 p.m. After that they face off against Juab, North Sanpete and Delta to end the season.
Cisneros said the team must put the losses behind them as they play the final games on the schedule.
"Our season is now four games long," he explained after the game. "We need to keep up our effort defensively and continue improving our shooting going forward.