Full-court press by Dinos causes plenty of frustration for ’Cats

Stephanie Long of Fruita breaks out of a Carbon County ferocious defense to score two of her six points.

Carbon County, Utah, applied the press and Fruita Monument pressed.

At the final day of the Wildcat Invitational at Fruita Monument High School on Saturday, Carbon County used its full-court press from the opening tip and seemed to be one step ahead of the Wildcats. Fruita (2-3) couldn’t break the Dinos’ pressure and Carbon County cruised to a 62-38 win.

It was the second straight year the Dinos finished 3-0 in the tournament.

“We didn’t come ready to play,” Fruita Monument’s Mary McGee said. “We were frazzled and spastic and we just weren’t ready.”

Carbon was definitely ready, rushing to a 30-10 halftime lead behind Julia Potts’ and Patricia Smith’s combined 21 points. For the Wildcats, McGee and fellow post player Taylor Johnson combined for eight first-half points on the rare times Fruita escaped the Dinos’ pressure.

“I was real disappointed with our effort,” Fruita Monument head coach Dan Schmalz said. “You know, we played great against a team like Fairview that just killed us last year and played terrible against a team (Carbon) we really competed with last year in this tournament. So I don’t know why our girls didn’t have any fire today.”

Schmalz was more upset about the Wildcats’ performance on the defensive end than on not being able to escape Carbon County’s pressure defense.

“We have a lot to work on, especially our defense,” Schmalz said. “Our defense is just not good right now and we just need to be better defensively.”

The best example of Fruita’s poor defense came at the start of the second half. Carbon County came out of halftime and put up a 23-point quarter, pushing its lead to 53-22 heading into the fourth quarter. Potts led the Dinos with 21 points, Smith chipped in 20 and Samantha Smith added 11 points.

In addition to struggling defensively, playing three games in three days seemed to tire the Wildcats.

“The enthusiasm was gone,” Schmalz said. “Getting whupped (Friday) night didn’t help, but it’s our own tournament and we should be the ones with the most rest and it didn’t seem like it today.”

Fruita was led by Johnson, who scored 12 points, and McGee who had nine points and seven rebounds.

“Taylor played well and Mary worked hard,” Schmalz said. “Stephanie Long (four points, three rebounds all in fourth quarter), who plays mostly JV gave a great effort that I was proud of.”

McGee said despite a tough final two games of the tournament for the Wildcats, she is hopeful for the future of the team.

“We are continuing to improve throughout this year,” McGee said. “And we are a much stronger team now than we were last year.”

Fruita plays in the Farmington, N.M., tournament, which begins Thursday.


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