Central Warriors play well defensively in loss to Carbon County (Utah)

Central Warriors play well defensively in loss to Carbon County (Utah)

Central High School’s Clay Squire, center, battles for a rebound Friday night with Dillon Manzanares of Carbon County (Utah) during the Warriors’ 52-43 loss during the second day of the Warrior Challenge.

As far as Central High School’s first-year boys basketball coach Ryan Hayden was concerned, Friday’s 52-43 loss to Carbon County (Utah) had plenty of good.

Specifically, the Warriors’ defense played aggressively, which led to numerous turnovers and a lack of good looks for Carbon.

“As far as the performance, I’m upset that we lost, but we played well defensively,” Hayden said. “I think we were able to match up with them well and do some things we wanted to on defense.”

But the difference in the game, part of the Warrior Challenge at Central, he said, was boxing out late in the third quarter.

“There was about a two-minute stretch there where we didn’t box out well and they made a one-point lead a nine-point lead,” Hayden said. “Up to that point, the kids were doing what we asked them to do.”

The stretch, which came in the final half of the third quarter, turned a 29-28 lead for Central into a 36-31 deficit by the end of the quarter.

Early on, both teams had their moments.

In the first two minutes of the game, Carbon led 5-2. But Central played shut-down defense and allowed only four points the rest of the quarter, trailing 9-6.

Central was still down three until Carbon went on an 11-2 run to take a 22-12 lead with three minutes left in the half.

But behind three free throws from Trent Coleman and a layup and a 3-pointer by George Chiriloaia, Central made it 22-20 by halftime.

“(We had to) just stay patient and not rush things,” said guard Taylor Sanchez, who led Central with 12 points. “Our coach always preaches not to rush things and whatnot, and if we run through the offense, opportunities will come around.”

Central kept the momentum early in the third quarter.

One minute in, Edward Beacoat hit a layup to tie the game at 22-22. Then, with 6:35 left in the quarter, he was fouled and made one of two free throws to take a 23-22 lead.

The teams then went back and forth, with six lead changes before Carbon’s Derek Young hit a layup to make it 30-29.

From there, Carbon struggled to shoot, but parlayed Central’s boxing-out issues and missed shots into a 36-31 lead by the fourth quarter.

Central’s Flor Mersmann ended a scoring drought with a free throw with five minutes left to make it 39-32.

After that, Carbon held on.

Chiriloaia had seven points and Clay Squire and Trey Fair six each for Central.

Although the Warriors have struggled in their own tournament, Hayden said the losses have provided a learning opportunity for his team.

“All you can do is learn,” he said, noting the issues in the third quarter. “You learn how important boxing out is. If you box out well in that two-minute stretch, then it’s still a one-point game.”


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