Dixie’s girls basketball team came into Thursday’s matchup in the 3A state tournament quarterfinals prepared to battle hard. They left Weber State’s Dee Events Center boasting a 43-23 blowout victory over Carbon.
So much for that.
The Flyers, who will next face off against Cedar in the semifinals today at 12:30 p.m., held their opponents to just four first-half points, and carried a double-digit lead through much of the contest.
Afterward, there wasn’t much to be said.
“We expected a much tighter fight,” said Caroline Lantor, who finished with a game high 15 points and six rebounds. “We didn’t see any film on this team, so we weren’t really sure what to expect. We figured out we had a size advantage and just went from there.”
Dixie held a 6-0 lead with six seconds left in the first quarter when Carbon’s Talauncee Croasmun managed to sneak in a garbage bucket as time expired, at least preventing a shutout.
When Giovanna Chiara notched a bucket in the opening minutes of the second quarter, it looked as though the first quarter mishap might be remedied.
That didn’t happen.
Instead, the Flyers closed out the half on a 6-0 run, then carried the momentum into the third period. By the time Caroline Lantor drained a 3-pointer midway through the third period, Dixie was up big, 26-11.
“We had to get over our nerves and get used to this big atmosphere,” said Flyer guard Kelsey McCann, who finished with seven points and seven rebounds. “This is a very difficult environment to get used to.”
The Dinos’ point production increased in the second half. They notched 10 third quarter points, and kept the deficit from spiraling too far out of control. But their team’s overall performance left something to be desired.
Katie Basinger led the way for Carbon with seven points.
Dixie, on the other hand, kicked up the offense and distributed the ball around the court. Eight players scored for the Flyers, including Aubri Challis, who collected eight points and six rebounds.
“We couldn’t let down today, because it can affect the rest of the tournament,” McCann said of her team’s focus during the longer stretches of the game.
Now, Dixie must turn its attention towards a dangerous Cedar squad, one that beat Bear River earlier in the day, 50-41, and also defeated the Flyers in both regular season matchups.
“We have to be ready to play,” McCann said.