Dino girls all smiles after win over Payson
The Carbon High girls basketball team will live to see another day as they defeated Payson 40-33 in a play-in game at Maple Mountain High School to secure their spot in the 3A State Tournament.
With the win, Carbon will advance as the Region 12 three seed to play Region 10 second seed Juan Diego on Friday, Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. at Juan Diego High School.
Led by senior Shelby Cornforth's 16 points, the Lady Dinos held on to a small fourth quarter lead taking advantage of Payson turnovers while using a strong defensive effort to overcome their own mistakes.
Carbon built a five point lead with four minutes to go before Payson hit a three to cut the deficit to 33-31. But down the stretch, Carbon made the plays needed to win. Katie Basinger hit a crucial jumper in the lane scoring two of her 11 points to put the lead at 35-31. After Payson responded to cut the lead to two, Basinger added another bucket to build the lead to four points. Carbon's Jordan Scoggins added another basket off a steal to build a six point lead with seventeen seconds left. Freshman Lindsey Blanc added a free throw with seconds left as Carbon picked up the win in the play-in game.
Carbon shot 13-of-20 from the free throw line but hit 6-of-8 free throws in the final quarter to help get the victory.
Scoggins and teammate Jaylie Jensen each added four points for the Lady Dinos. Beth Child and Morgan Hillam finished with two points each and Blanc chipped in one point.
The two teams met just five days ago as Payson built a 10 point lead that Carbon nearly overcame with a strong fourth quarter run before falling short in a 56-50 loss on Feb. 13 at Carbon High. That loss by Carbon helped set up the three-way tie for third place in Region 12 with Carbon, Payson and Richfield. After a coin toss earlier this week, Richfield was given the Region 12 fourth seed in the tournament while Carbon and Payson tied for third creating the need for a play-in game.
Carbon and Juan Diego are no strangers to each other as they faced off on Jan. 10 at Carbon High School. Carbon led at the half and into the fourth quarter before Juan Diego took over in the final minute and hit key free throws down the stretch to hand the Lady Dinos a 60-50 loss.
The Mills sisters, Dominique and Monique, scored a combined 38 points for Juan Diego as the Soaring Eagle used a key second half run to help defeat Carbon on the road.
Carbon High head coach Ted Bianco said the third seed could be a very good draw for the Lady Dinos. After playing Juan Diego tough despite losing back in January, Bianco and his team know how good their opponent can be.
"We missed a few opportunities at the end against Juan Diego the first time around," Bianco said. "Going on the road is never easy but we have an opportunity to knock off a good team on their own home floor."
If Carbon High is able to defeat Juan Diego, they would advance to the 3A quarterfinals at Southern Utah University in Cedar City where they would face the winner of Region 11 one seed Bear River and Region 9 fourth seed Cedar on Thursday, Feb. 27.