The smiling faces of the East Carbon's girls basketball team turned into sad ones before the tournament was even over this past weekend.
That's because after they travelled all the way to Cedar City to face tournament foes and had just gotten settled into their lodging for what was hopefully a long weekend, they were headed home with two losses and no placement at state to bring home.
The shortening of their hopefully long stay in Southwestern Utah began when Wayne High School came into the Canyon View High gym on Wednesday afternoon and beat them 65-17.
However, even after such a lopsided loss there was still hope for redemption as they went in the first round losers bracket and thought they could still come out with at least a placement at the state game site.
Unfortunately, it was one of those Salt Lake private schools from Region 17 that ended that dream on Thursday with a 42-31 victory over the Lady Vikes.
In the first game on Wednesday, the East Carbon girls faced a team that has played in the toughest region in the state this year. Wayne, a team that was lead by now BYU freshman Kali Taylor last year was apparently having a down year this season; the reigning state champs had to face a playoff with Green River before coming to Cedar City and they weren't happy even though they crushed the Lady Pirates in the game. They took out their frustration from that and their trailing Panguitch and Valley all season by doing everything they could to make the ladies from East Carbon miserable.
The quarters read like basketball points against baseball scores. In the first quarter Wayne out scored the Lady Vikes 11-2.
Okay. The Vikes had seen this before; they knew they could come back. It couldn't get any worse.
But it did.
In the next quarter Wayne put in 20 points. They held East Carbon to five.
At the half the score had to remind the Lady Vikes of a game they played against the Meridian girls team earlier this year; except that instead of being ahead they were the ones that were far behind.
The second half was no better. The Lady Vikings scored only 10 points in the whole second half, while Wayne put in 34.
It was the end of the East Carbon team thinking a state championship could be theirs. But hope springs eternal and they returned the next evening to face the Lions.
They played much better against ICS, but still not good enough to beat the kids from Salt Lake.
In the first period the Lady Lions came on scoring nine points to East Carbons six. Still, it was respectable quarter. The Lady Vikes had not scored too much, but they had also held ICS under 10.
In the second period it looked good for East Carbon as they outscored ICS by one, nine to eight. That put them only behind by two going into the half.
Then came the disastrous third period. ICS came out hot on both ends of the floor scoring 15 points and holding East Carbon to a score similar to what they had done the day before, two points.
However, the Lady Vikings were not done for. They came back in the fourth period and began to catch the Lady Lions and actually did out score them 14-10, but that third quarter lapse could not be made up, and that was the end of the season.
The 1A championship round was dominated on Saturday by Region 17. Wayne did lose their next game to Rich 58-49, but came back to win all the rest, including a 39-35 defeat of East Carbons main rival this year, West Desert, on Saturday to take fifth place.
The championship was won by Panguitch who beat Region 17 rival Valley 42-34.