#5 Carbon and #6 Emery squared off for a much-anticipated contest in the Spartan Center on Thursday night. Now that the two rivals are in the same region, there was even more at stake as each squad was trying to avoid an 0-2 start in region play.
The Lady Dinos came out with a lot of intensity and stifled Emery’s offense in the first half. Carbon’s tight defense, along with a pair of three-pointers from Jordan Bianco, allowed Carbon to control the game and take a 22-14 lead into halftime.
Then came the Lady Spartans. They flipped the script on the Lady Dinos, turning great defense into offense. Down by six, Hailey Allred came up with a steal and passed it down the court to Bailey Jacobson, who sunk a three to cut the lead in half. On the next Dino possession, Emery forced another steal and worked the ball around until Tambrie Tuttle came up with a three of her own to tie the game at 22. Tuttle was not finished as she then hit another three the next time down the court to give Emery its first lead of the night, 25-22. The shot extended the Lady Spartans’ run to 11-0 coming out of the break. Emery held Carbon scoreless for the first 6:30 minutes.
Bianco was not going to go down without a fight and immediately answered back with a three, several feet behind the arc, to tie the game once more. Carbon then regained the lead with Abbie Saccomanno’s two-point shot before things took a crazy turn. Tuttle was fouled shooting a desperation three with 0.4 seconds left in the third quarter. She made all three foul shots to put Emery ahead 28-27 with one quarter left to play.
Carbon returned to its aggressive nature and rebuilt a six-point lead, 36-30, with under three minutes left. Makieya Bertuzzi came up with a huge offensive rebound and kicked it out to Jacobson, who knocked down the clutch three to make it 36-33. Saccomanno then found a wide open Brenna Tabone for an easy layup to put the Dinos back up by five.
Out of a timeout, Kiri Cook answered the bell with a jump shot, cutting it back to three with 1:27 left. Bertuzzi came up big again with a steal and was fouled on her lay-up attempt. She went 1-2 at the line and players were tied up fighting for the rebound creating a jump ball, possession Carbon.
Carbon, up by two (38-36), called a timeout with just 43.2 seconds left. The inbound pass was stolen, however, by Tuttle. Emery came down the court and passed it to Cook who went to the basket, made a floater and was fouled. She missed the foul attempt, leaving the game knotted up at 38.
The Dinos pulled down the defensive rebound but dribbled it off a foot. Three Dinos were around the ball but Jacobson recognized the mistake and dove to the ground to force another tie up. The possession arrow now pointed to Emery.
Carbon’s defense came up tough once more as it forced a Spartan turnover. On the ensuing possession, Bianco drove down the court then along the baseline and drew a foul call. She missed the first attempt but sunk the second to retake the lead 39-38. With just 6.2 seconds left, Emery got off one last shot but came up empty. Carbon ended up on top of the back-and-forth battle by a score of 39-38.
Bianco led all scorers with 16 points followed by Tuttle with 15 and Saccomanno with 12. The teams were evenly matched and finished with similar stats. Carbon shot 29 percent from the field, Emery 26. The Spartans were more efficient from beyond the arc with five threes on 13 attempts to the Dinos four on 14. Carbon out-rebounded Emery 28-25 but turned the ball over 12 times to Emery’s nine. All-in-all, it was a hard-fought battle that came down the last possession. To re-watch the entire game, visit etvnews.com/livesports.
Up next, the Lady Dinos (10-5, 1-1) will host San Juan (7-3, 0-0) on Tuesday in Price. That game will be streamed live on ETV Channel 10 and online at etvnews.com/livesports. The Lady Spartans (7-6, 0-2) will look to bounce back on the road as they take on Grand (1-8, 0-0). The contest will be on ETV Channel 6 and online at etvnews.com/livesports.