|Morgan Warburton drives past two North Sanpete defenders in the close loss to the Lady Hawks in the semi-finals of the state basketball tournament.|
After day one of the Utah state girls' basketball tournament, Carbon was riding high.
The Lady Dinos had just defeated the Lady Wasps of Wasatch.
What made the win even more sweet was the fact that prior to the game, Wasatch had yet to lose to any team all season.
With the 45-39 win, the Dinos broke Wasatch's undefeated, 21-0 season and knocked the team from championship contention.
Seven Carbon players contributed points in the game, including the game high 15 points by Morgan Warburton. She also added 11 rebounds in the upset.
The victory paired Carbon with fellow Region 8 team North Sanpete the next afternoon in the semi-final round.
In the two regular season meetings between the teams, Carbon went away with the victory both times.
However, the North Sanpete Lady Hawks were coming off a notable victory of their own, defeating Cedar City in its own hometown, 64-54.
The Lady Hawks outscored the Lady Redmen 29-11 in the fourth quarter to record the win.
When the two teams met on the court at high noon the next day, Carbon lost whatever heat they had had the previous night.
"We couldn't hit the broad side of a barn," coach Bruce Bean stated.
Several Carbon players were struggling with sickness, including senior Andraya Newby who had to keep a garbage can nearby throughout the game.
At one point in the third quarter, North Sanpete had a 19 point lead over the Lady Dinos.
However, the scoring power of Brittany Pollastro carried the team through the tough spots and the Lady Dinos began to mount a comeback.
With only a few minutes remaining, though, the Lady Dinos were still in need of some quick points.
Carbon fouls to stop the clock were counteracted by good foul shooting by the Lady Hawks and North Sanpete was able to maintain a seven point lead.
Halee Rasmussen took matters into her own hand, hitting a three-point goal followed by another after a steal off a Lady Hawks' inbounds pass.
Carbon trailed by one.
North Sanpete gained one back from the free throw line but gave Carbon control of the ball with less than 30 seconds, needing only a lay-in to tie the score.
A lay-in chance opened up for the Lady Dinos, but contact on the drive failed to draw a foul and North Sanpete recovered the missed shot.
The Lady Hawks spent the remaining seconds of the game at the foul line and took the game 56-48.
With the loss, Carbon was eliminated from the championship bracket and would compete the next day against Pine View for third or fourth place.
North Sanpete advanced to play Morgan. Morgan defeated the Lady Hawks handily, taking the state championship with the 78-60 win.
The Lady Dinos, meanwhile, put the ups and downs of the tournament behind them for the third and deciding game. They defeated Pine View 51-48 to take third place in the state.
Bean said he was proud of his team for overcoming Friday's emotional loss.
"I was pleased the way we came back the next day," he noted.
Warburton scored 21 points for the Lady Dinos in the win, while Pollastro added 17.
Bean said Pollastro's consistancy throughout the tournament lead to her selection to the all-tournament team.
Pollastro scored nine, 19 and 17 points respectively and rebounded in double figures every game.
Carbon will lose four of their key players, Pollastro, Newby, Katie Manley and Cassie Christman, to graduation this year.
Bean said he expects the loss of the seniors will be great but has hopes that his younger players will step up and fill the necessary positions.
According to Bean, the Lady Dinos will be back in state contention next season.