|Carbon's Maquette Potts (11) fights with a Dixie player for a rebound during Saturdays game.|
It's hard to know what caused the change.
Was it Carbon's stellar season with only one close loss to a very good Uintah team in December?
Was it the domination of the Lady Dinos over the rest of it's Region 8 foes all season?
Was it that the team that has held the first spot all season, Morgan, has slipped just a little by having two losses instead of one like Carbon?
Or was it the way the girls from Carbon County manhandled Dixie on Saturday night?
It's hard to tell, but on a Monday morning, after Carbon won their home state game against the Lady Flyers convincingly (57-24), there it was: both the Deseret Morning News and the Salt Lake Tribune had the Carbon girls basketball team ranked number one in 3A for the first time this season.
And as the polls go, it will be the last time. Because by Sunday of next week whichever team is actually number one will have shown it on the court by taking the 3A state championship at the E Center in West Valley.
But for now Carbon will take the recognition and the realization that the last time a Carbon girls team was ranked number one was just before the state volleyball championships last fall.
And then they went on to prove they really were number one by beating, who else, Morgan.
It's been a long road trying to achieve the top spot, and it seems Carbon gets only partial respect each year until the end of the season. But they proved how good they were on Saturday night by holding Dixie to only four points in the first half of the game and thereby effectively eliminating them from the tournament.
Saturday nights game had a big buildup, because Carbon fans remember when Region 9's Pineview came to town four years ago as the fourth place team and edged Carbon in a controversial ending to go to state, leaving the Lady Dinos sitting home. Pineview eventually went on to win the state championship that year too.
So no self respecting Carbon fan takes anything for granted any more when it comes to the first round of the state playoffs.
|Morgan Warburton attempts to block Dixie's Kris Bromley (11) in the second half of the playoff game.|
Carbon began the game in fine form, both defensively and offensively. Shooting from the outside to destroy the Lady Flyers zone and then taking it inside against much taller timber, Carbon made mincemeat out of Dixies players. Carbon outscored the Dixie kids 18-4 and the rout was on.
But it was in the second period when Carbon's defense really shined. Each time Dixe tried to move the ball down the floor there were two or three Carbon players right in front of them from baseline to baseline. And that resulted in turnover after turnover. And when they didn't turn the ball over, they missed the shots they took because those same Lady Dinos were in their face whenever they approached their own goal.
That resulted in 0-3 shooting in the second quarter by the kids from St. George.
Yes, that's right. The Lady Flyers only had three shots on goal in the second period.
At the half Carbon fans were shaking their heads. The score was 30-4 and people began to wonder if after another half it would be 60-8 or 80-10.
But the St. George team settled down when they came out and began to not only get the ball down court, but also managed to hit some shots. In fact they actually outscored Carbon 13-11 in the third quarter.
But no one should be fooled by that. Carbon's coach Bruce Bean also substituted freely, knowing that if the Lady Flyers threatened he could put the power back in. At the end of the third period the score was still 41-17.
Then came the fourth period and Bean went to the end of the bench at times so everyone had a chance to play.
Dixie could have given up, but to their credit, they didn't. They continued to fight even though a win was virtually impossible at that point.
Carbon showed their mettle however. They are a team to be reckoned with and if they continue to play the way they did on Saturday night could go all the way. If they did win the championship, it would be the first time in the school's history that anyone can remember the school won two state girls championships in one year.
As for the players, there were many heroines. As usual Morgan Warburton was her stellar self taking the ball away and pulling rebounds down with much taller competition. In the process she scored 21 points.
|The fight for rebounds was fierce all evening when Carbon and Dixie clashed at the Dinogym.|
But close behind, and oft forgotten was Jamie King with 10 points and who also fought the height differential all night.
At the guard line Halee Rasmussen burned the Lady Flyers for 19 points, with some triples that devastated the St. George girls.
And while those were the big three as far as scoring goes, Tabby Cummins, Maquette Potts and Meesha Rasmussen (all with two points) and Erika Potts with one, played one tough game. And while Danielle Martino didn't score, her guard play on both ends of the floor played a huge role in the game.
Now the girls will leave the friendly confines of the Dinogym and head to Salt Lake on Thursday where they will face the Judge Lady Bulldogs at 9:10 p.m. in the final game of the first day of 3A girls competition there.
Judge (12-10, third place team from Region 10) and the Lady Bears (14-8, second place team from Region 11 behind Morgan) fought to the bitter end in Tremonton on Saturday night as Judge edged Bear River 43-41.
The Lady Bulldogs have been a thorn in everyone's side this year, including Uintah and Wasatches, both good teams.
If Carbon wins it will play the winner of the Uintah-Delta game on Friday in the semi-finals.
Delta was a surprise winner getting into the quarterfinals _with a 30-28 win over Pineview in a last second shot.
Emery High, which forced a double overtime with Carbon a couple of weeks ago and was expected to be at the E Center lost at home to surprising Cedar City 60-57. Emery was ahead by 6 points with only a few minutes to go on their home floor, but lost the game when the Lady Redmen kept fouling them and the Lady Spartans couldn't hit their foul shots.
Much like in the volleyball tournament, the 3A and 2A playoffs will be going on at the same time at the E Center, so local fans can get their fill of high school basketball if they wish this weekend.