Carbon and Emery met for the second time this week with the final game featuring the boys’ basketball teams going head to head in Price on Friday.
The Dinos kept pace with the Spartans for most of the first quarter until Emery found a little breathing room late, taking a 21-15 lead. The Spartans capitalized on driving and dishing from Brax Jensen to Kyler Wilstead and transition threes by Jordan Ekker to build their lead. The Dinos shot the three-point shot well in the first quarter, particularly from Brady Gagon, but then began to fizzle out as the game progressed. Competition remained tight in the second period but again Emery found the advantage. Emery went into halftime up 37-28.
Coming out of halftime, Carbon made an adjustment defensively to stop the backdoor pass to Wilstead. The decision was to stick the lengthy Keenan Hatch on Wilstead to prevent easy layups. Hatch affected a number of shots in the night and finished with eight points and five blocks. The Spartans response was to milk the clock with Wilstead dribbling just past half court. Emery closed out the third quarter with over a minute of this tactic.
Down 48-39 going into the fourth, the Dinos began to make a run. Kaleb Nelson hit a three early in the period to jump-start Carbon. Emery failed to respond quickly after running a stall offense in the third. The Dinos were able to cut it all the way to one, 53-52, with less than two minutes left. Carbon had a couple opportunities at the end as Emery missed the front-end of two one-and-ones. The Dinos, however, were ultimately unable to do so and Jensen stepped up to the foul line and sealed the game with two free throws as Emery took the game 57-52.
Nelson had a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Wilstead had a similar night with 17 points and 11 rebounds for his own double-double. Jensen led all scorers with 21 points and finished with eight assists. Gagon broke double-digits with 15 points as did Ekker with 12. Ekker scored all his points from the beyond the arc where he went 4-6 (67 percent).
Carbon (5-7, 0-2) will head to play San Juan (10-2, 1-0) on the road on Wednesday.