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Cedar defense proves to be deciding factor in 43-29 loss for CHS Lady Dinos

Carbon's Jordan Scoggins, center, is barely recognizable as Cedar defenders surround her while trying to get a shot off in the second half.
Lindsey Blanc (#25) yells out a play on offense during the first half of Carbon's 43-29 loss to Cedar on Thursday evening in Cedar City.

Sun Advocate sports reporter

Defensive play helps Cedar go on 15-5 second quarter run proving to be the difference in state tournament loss for CHS girls team

In the 3A quarterfinals against Cedar, the Carbon High Lady Dinos found themselves in an all too familiar spot down by double digits in the second half. With the final minute comeback win over Juan Diego just one week prior still fresh in their minds, the Lady Dinos looked to continue their good fortunes with a comeback on the biggest stage of the season.

Despite cutting the lead to four midway through the third quarter, the second half run wasn't enough as Cedar's defense proved to be a tall obstacle to overcome as the Lady Dinos fell to Cedar 43-29 on Thursday evening at the Centrum Arena in Cedar City.

"Our girls played hard against a real good Cedar team," said CHS head coach Ted Bianco on Monday afternoon. "We kind of ran out of gas at the end of the game."

In the first and third quarters, Carbon outscored Cedar 14-10. But the Lady Dinos were outscored by Cedar in the second and fourth quarters by a 33-15 margin.

Carbon led 7-6 after the first quarter in what was mainly looking like a defensive battle between the two squads. But in the second quarter, Cedar's defense helped generate opportunities on the offensive end as they took a 21-12 lead into halftime sparked by two made 3-pointers and a harassing defense that wouldn't allow the Lady Dinos any good looks at the basket.

"Cedar's size at the guard position was a problem for us and they did a good job of double teaming down low throughout the game," said Bianco.

But true to form, the Lady Dinos didn't go down so easily. They responded in the third quarter opening with a 7-2 run that cut the deficit to 23-19 midway through the period.

However, Cedar's defense again clamped down. They held the Lady Dinos scoreless the rest of the quarter and began to extend the lead back to double digits into the fourth quarter.

Carbon's bench players were called into action in the final minutes of the game to help extend the game by fouling. After each stop in play, Carbon starters would reenter the game for offense.

Senior Shelby Cornforth, playing in her final game for Carbon, led the team with 12 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks. Fellow senior Annika Hansen finished with one point.

Freshman Lindsey Blanc finished with six points, including Carbon's only made 3-pointer. Jordan Scoggins and Jaylie Jensen each added four points and Beth Child had two points.

Junior guard Katie Basinger, who was closely guarded by Cedar players all night, was unable to get any good looks at the basket finishing 0 for 2 from the field with no points in the game. Basinger, who averaged 9.6 points per game, was held scoreless for the first time all season as the Lady Dinos turned the ball over 16 times against Cedar.

For the Lady Dinos, it was another reminder of how difficult it can be to win on the big stage. It was the third straight year that the team was knocked out in the quarterfinals after losing in the 2011 championship game to rival Emery High.

After nearly missing out on the playoffs, the Lady Dinos finished in a tie for third place in Region 12 with both Richfield and Payson. The Lady Dinos defeated Payson 40-33 on Tuesday, Feb. 18 securing their spot as the Region 12 three seed. That set up the memorable game against Region 10 two seed Juan Diego on Friday, Feb. 21.

Carbon finished the season with an overall record of 12-13 and a 3-5 record in Region 12 play.

"It was a roller coaster ride for us this season," Bianco said. "I couldn't be prouder of the girls for what they accomplished this year."

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