Carbon High head coach Ted Bianco talks with a referee about a critical foul call against Carbon late in the fourth quarter of Carbon's 53-49 win over Emery High in overtime on Tuesday night.
Carbon High junior Shelby Cornforth goes up for a shot over Emery's Bailey Rasmussen (right, #22). Cornforth finished with a team-high 17 points
Carbon High point guard Shailee Croasmun (right) calls out for a play on offense as Emery's Kelsie Cox stands guard on defense. Croasmun finished with 14 points despite fouling out in the fourth quarter of Carbon High's 53-49 overtime win over Emery High on Tuesday night at the Carbon High Gymnasium.
When Carbon High and Emery High meet on the hardwood, anything and everything can happen.
In this classic matchup it was the Carbon High Lady Dinos prevailing in the end with a 53-49 win in overtime that featured a wild fourth quarter comeback by Emery forcing the game to be played for an extra four minutes.
The Lady Dinos got big contributions from juniors Annika Hansen and Giovanna Chiara who combined to score 10 of Carbon's 11 overtime points in overtime to help secure the win.
"We practice these situations every day," said Hansen. "I was excited to get out there and hit a tough shot in the final minutes of the game."
Hansen, who entered the game halfway into the overtime period after Shelby Cornforth picked up her fifth foul, hit a big turnaround jumper down low to help Carbon regain a 46-44 lead. On the following play, Chiara blocked an Emery shot starting a fast break for the Lady Dinos. Hansen again got in position down in the low block and was fouled while converting a basket, giving the Lady Dinos a five point lead and sending the home crowd into a frenzy.
With a chance to get back into the game, Emery's Ashlynn Allred went to the free throw line with a chance to cut the deficit down to three. Sensing the important moment in the game, Bianco called on the home crowd, particularly the Carbon High student section, to make plenty of noise by waving his arms around. Allred made one of two free throws to make 49-45.
Emery was able to cut the lead down to two after two free throws by Jeridi Price to make it 49-47.
But down the stretch, Chiara and Katie Basinger went 4-of-6 at the free throw line to put the game away for Carbon.
The game was entirely different than the last time the two teams met when Emery defeated Carbon 40-24 back on Nov. 27. In that game, Emery's pressing defense and Carbon's inability to convert offensive opportunities in the second half led to Emery picking up the victory.
"We played with a lot more confidence this time around," said Carbon High head coach Ted Bianco. He said his team's defense played hard the entire game helping lead to the win.
But the Carbon High victory came very close to being stolen by the pesky pressing defense Emery utilized for much of the contest.
After facing a 30-22 deficit heading into the fourth quarter, Emery turned up the heat on defense as they forced Carbon into a number of crucial turnovers. Emery went on a 10-0 run to take a 32-30 lead with over five minutes left.
To make matters worse for Carbon, junior guard Shailee Croasmun picked up her fifth foul during Emery's run. Basinger, Croasmun's backcourt teammate, was playing with four fouls through much of the quarter forcing Bianco to utilize his bench.
Cornforth scored on a layup with less than 1:30 remaining to give Carbon a 41-39 lead. Emery's Shelby Allred hit a huge 3-pointer giving the Lady Spartans a 42-41 lead.
On the following possession, Carbon's Taylor Oliver was fouled and converted 1-of-2 at the free throw line to tie the game at 42-42.
Emery held onto the ball for much of the final minute before calling a timeout with 12 seconds remaining. After drawing up a play, Emery turned the ball over to Carbon after an Allred bounce pass intended for Bailey Rasmussen went out of her reach.
With five second left, Bianco called a timeout to set up a final play. On the final play of regulation, Allred stole the ball from Basinger at halfcourt and nearly got a shot to go in before referees said the shot came after the buzzer had went off.
Cornforth led all Carbon scorers with a team-high 17 points. Croasmun added 14, Basinger had 7 and Chiara and Hansen each finished with 5 points each.
Ashlynn Allred led Emery (4-4) with 19 points.
Cornforth, who had to watch the final two minutes of overtime from the bench, said the team defense and the play of Chiara and Hansen in overtime helped get Carbon the win.
"It feels great to get the win," Cornforth said. "Annika and our bench did a wonderful job for us after Shailee and I fouled out."
Bianco said he wanted the team to continue passing the ball into the post even after Cornforth fouled out. His hope was that the Lady Dinos would make a shot or get fouled in the process to get free throw opportunities.
"We wanted to continue going inside the paint with the ball and Annika was there for us. It's hard to come off the bench late in a game but she was a star for us in overtime," Bianco said.
He was also pleased about the Lady Dinos' ability to knock down big free throws throughout the game as they went 20-of-25 (80 percent) in the game.
The ability to win despite key players fouling out and surviving a team's big run late in the game will only serve to help Carbon going forward, Bianco explained.
"Emery is a great team so this was a big win for us," he said. "We needed a game like this to get better."
Carbon (5-3) will travel to Union on Friday for their next game. The Lady Dinos will return home on Dec. 29 for a game against Tooele at 4:30 p.m. at the Carbon High Gymnasium.