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Defense leads Lady Dinos to victory

Carbon High defenders Katie Basinger (left), Ashley Quinton (middle) and Shailee Croasmun (right) work together to prevent Payson's Savannah Stewart from breaking through the Lady Dino press defense. The Lady Dinos used a strong defensive performance during their 52-26 win on Tuesday night.
Katie Basinger drives to the basket against the Payson defense during the second half of Carbon High's 52-26 win on Tuesday night.
Ashley Quinton breaks through the Payson defense before shooting a jump shot during play in the first half. Quinton scored two points but also added a number of rebounds and steals on defense in the win.

Sun Advocate sports reporter

On any given night, an offense may not be playing up to its potential. But a tough, hard-nosed defense that keeps opponents from getting settled in can be a stalwart for a team over the course of a season.

For the Carbon High Lady Dinos, a strong defensive performance kept Payson off balance as the Lady Dinos ran away with a 52-26 win in their Region 12 opener on Tuesday night at the Carbon High Gymnasium.

The Carbon defense pounced on the Lady Lions from the opening tip as they utilized a full-court press and disrupted passing lanes all game long leading to a number of turnovers and baskets throughout the game.

Leading 10-4 at the end of the first quarter, the Lady Dinos went on a 13-0 to open the second quarter opening up their largest lead of the half at 23-4.

Payson's offense finally got going in the third quarter but by then it was too late. The Lady Dinos never lead by less than 10 points the rest of the way.

While the Carbon High offense did not convert all of their steals into points, many times they would drive to the basket and get fouled in the process.

Head coach Ted Bianco said he was pleased with the defensive performance which kept Payson from making a comeback in the second half.

"We want to put defensive pressure on the ball all game long," said Bianco. "Payson was a little physical with us tonight but I thought our girls responded well to the challenge."

The win over Payson comes after the Lady Dinos dropped a close 53-44 game to Uintah last week. Bianco said the team had an opportunity to win the game but things fell apart in the final quarter leading the to the loss.

Against Payson, the Lady Dinos pounded the ball inside to junior Shelby Cornforth, who finished with a team-high 11 points. When they weren't getting the ball down to Cornforth in the paint, junior Shailee Croasmun, sophomore Katie Basinger drove to the basket and were able to find open teammates near the basket or were fouled and had opportunities at the free throw line.

"We got ourselves off on a good note in Region 12 play with this win," Bianco explained noting the team got the ball down low in the paint consistently, made some jump shots and got a lot of points from the bench in the game.

Basinger added 10 points for the Lady Dinos who saw a total of nine players score at least two points.

Now heading into a road game with Spanish Fork (5-7, 1-0 Region 12) on Friday at 5:15 p.m., the Lady Dinos must shore up a few things including their communication on defense which Bianco said was lacking in parts of the second half. Another area the Lady Dinos (8-4, 1-0 Region 12) can work on is free throw shooting after finishing (16-of-30, 53 percent) for the game.

"Spanish Fork is a very athletic team. We will need to rebound well and defend well if we want to walk away with a win," he said.

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