ETV News Stock Photo by Traci Bishop
A heavy-weight bout ensued in Price on Wednesday night between Carbon and Juab. The intensity of the match was palpable from the opening tip off and continued throughout. In fact, the speed and physicality led to foul trouble for both teams in the first quarter. Each squad had three starters with three or more fouls at halftime, forcing each team to use their bench and make adjustments.
After a hard-fought opening period, the Dinos held a slight 13-11 advantage. Juab landed a few jabs in the second, and would go up by as much as eight. Carbon withstood the body blows, however, and cut it back to four by half.
Then, in the third, the Dinos countered back with two massive three-point baskets from Zeke Willson to cut it back to one. The junior scored eight of his 13 points in the third and helped swing the momentum back to Carbon. Braxton Stevenson picked the offense up from there with seven points in the period to help Carbon retake the lead, 45-44.
The final round was like watching two boxers trying to land as many hits as possible before the bell rang. To put it in perspective, there were eight lead changes and five ties in the last eight minutes alone. Every time Juab would take the lead, Carbon would come right back with an answer. Free throws were huge in this contest as both teams were in the bonus early.
With just over 40 seconds left and the Dinos down one, Cole Cripps was fouled and headed to the line. He sunk both free throws to regain the lead. The Wasps’ next possession also ended at the charity stripe, where Juab went 2-2 to go back on top. Mason Vasquez then took the ball with under 15 seconds and drove the lane and was fouled. Cool, calm and collected, he promptly made both shots to put Carbon up once more.
The Wasps quickly inbounded the ball and drove the length of the court. A rushed shot went off the mark, and both a Dino and a Wasp battled for possession under the hoop. Juab came up with the rock and shot a two-footer just before time expired. The ball kissed off the glass and hung on the rim for what seemed like an eternity before it fell out, giving the Dinos the 60-59 win.
It was a tenacious effort given by the home team, where each member played a critical role in the victory. Stevenson would end the night with a game-high 19 points followed by Willson with 13, Cripps with nine and Ashton Ferguson with seven off the bench.
Chet Anderson was all over the court with six points, four rebounds, four assists and four steals. Cripps was the leading distributor from the center position with six assists. The deciding factor was coach Jared Butler as his squad made adjustments at the half and won the game at the foul line. Carbon finished 14-21 (67%) at the charity stripe compared to Juab’s 16-29 (55%). The Dinos also outshot the Wasps 49% to 38%.
The 4-0 Dinos will now gear up for the 2A/3A Preview Tournament this weekend at the Sevier Valley Center in Richfield.