Earlier this season, the East Carbon boys basketball team went on road trip to Salt Lake and came back with two big losses, but a lot of experience.
They lost to a very good Salt Lake Lutheran team and a very tall Westridge Academy team from Kearns.
"Those two experiences were good for us," said Coach Steve Gutierrez. "Lutheran was a good team and we compteted well with them. Westridge was tall and it was good experience to go up against their players."
Good enough to win the next time?
Unfortunately not, as was proven on Wednesday evening when the Fighting Eagles came to the Viking gymnasium and beat up the East Carbon kids once again 59-42.
The game was a physical one, with both sides doling out power, but the bigger bodied Westridge team had the advantage there and used that superiority to control the game.
It seemed anytime the Vikings would get the ball, there was a Fighting Eagle in the way, blocking, swiping at the ball or jumping for the pass.
Anyone can say what they want about these kids that go to a school for problem kids, but they can play basketball, maybe not in it's most beautiful form, but in a winning form.
The first period of the game started out innocuously with both teams playing each other fairly even and the first quarter ending in a 12-9 lead for the kids from the Salt Lake Valley.
In the second period they built on that lead, based largely on the shooting of Steven Carter, who had 22 for the game. They won that quarter by four, making their halftime lead seven.
Certainly not insurmountable or at least it wouldn't have been for the Vikings against most 1A teams. But Westridge is a different team. They are batterers, but smooth ones. They know how to use their bodies and their aggressiveness without getting a call.
The third period brought about much of the same, except that the Fighting Eagles won the quarter by one more than they had the second period, 12-7.
A pattern had developed of three, four and five points.
Would they win the fourth quarter by six?
It wouldn't, but that didn't make any difference as they increased their lead by another five in the fourth, despite some great moves from Tony McFarland, Pat Hanson, and Austin Preston. They just couldn't beat Westridge's size.
The high scorer for East Carbon was Preston with 16 hard earned points. McFarland put up 11.
The Vikings next game will be away and it is a long time coming as they won't meet up with the Hawks until Jan. 9.
East Carbons first home league game is much farther away when they take on Meridian School of Provo on Jan. 23. Fans are reminded that week night games start at 6 p.m. unlike the 7 p.m. start on Fridays.
It will also be the first league game for the Vikes, who now must use that tough preseason schedule to their advantage to move toward the state playoffs.