Dinos manuever around injuries, miscues in win over Delta
In their final home game of the season, the Carbon High boys basketball team wanted to go out with a win.
It took all 32 minutes of action and a number of key plays from the five seniors playing their final home game of their careers as the Dinos were able to defeat Delta 64-60 on Friday night at the CHS gymnasium.
The last time Delta and Carbon met on the hardwood, it was Delta who jumped out to an early lead before Carbon mounted a big comeback in the final moments.
This time around, it was Carbon High who jumped out to a big lead before Delta made a last minute run at stealing a road victory. But lucky for Carbon, it was not to be as the Dinos held on despite injuries and a few miscues down the stretch for the win.
On senior night, one senior in particular had a game he will remember for quite some time. Clay Finkbiner hit a season high six three-pointers on his way to a team-high 22 points for the Dinos.
"Clay played big for us tonight," said junior Jordan Blanc.
Finkbiner's shots from behind the arc helped give Carbon an early 19-16 lead through the first quarter. In the second quarter, Carbon started adding onto their lead as Finkbiner and junior Dakota Cisneros made baskets behind the arc and down in the paint to go into the half up 32-20. Cisneros finished with 17 points and six steals.
"My shot felt really good tonight," Finkbiner said after the win.
Carbon extended the lead to 44-23 midway through the third quarter before Delta began putting together their own run.
Delta (9-10, 6-4 Region 12) cut the Carbon lead to 60-49 with two minutes left. Carbon allowed Delta to make things close as they did not consistently hit their free throws (18-of-32, 56.2 percent) down the stretch.
But Carbon junior Bryce Blackburn made 3-of-4 free throws, including one in the final moments, to help seal the victory.
"It felt great to get the win in our final home game," said senior Nick Haycock. "We gave nothing but effort the whole game."
While the win helped give Carbon a third place finish in Region 12 and a secure spot in the 3A state tournament, they do have questions to answer.
Junior forward Derek Young, who has provided a rebounding and frontcourt scoring option for the Dinos, apparently broke his arm during the Junior Varsity game earlier that day and is reported to be out for the rest of the season. Also Blanc left the game late in the third quarter with a sprained ankle. Despite the injury, Blanc said he would be ready for the state tournament.
Blanc credits the seniors with each playing a specific role in helping the team over the course of the season.
"Our seniors have played a big role for us this year and they seem to love the roles they play for us," he said.
Now the Dinos will prepare for a familiar opponent as they will travel to play Ben Lomond this Saturday at 7 p.m.
Carbon (12-8, 5-5 Region 12) won the previous encounter 46-42 in double overtime back on Dec. 10.
"We need to keep going through the same routine of practicing hard," Blanc said. "We'll treat every practice like it's a game time situation."