The Carbon Dinos cut Union’s lead to two points at 55-53, but Union’s Reid Price was on target as he hit 5 of 6 free throws in the final 49.2 seconds to give the Cougars a 60-53 win on the Union court. The Wednesday win puts Union in a second place tie at 8-4 in Region 14 play. The Cougars have an overall record of 11-10. Union will compete in a 3A play-in game at Orem on Saturday. The 3A state meet will be held at Richfield on Feb. 21-23.
Price was also the leading scorer for Union at 16 points. He hit three field goals, but his biggest claim to fame was zipping in 10 of 13 free throws that was a key feat for Price.
“I missed a couple and then got back in the game where I hit some free throws,” said Price, who is one of seven seniors on the Union team. Other seniors are: TJ Kimbel, Jaxon Davis, Nate Foote, Logan Gillman, Jaden Mickelson and Chase Birchell. They were honored on Senior Day prior to the game against Carbon. Foote didn’t play in the game against Carbon.
Price’s foul pitch magic had Union in just the right place with a 58-53 lead and a 3-point attempt by Carbon hit the side of the back board with 8.9 seconds to go in the game. Price’s final two free throws locked up a win over the Dinos. In a previous meeting at Carbon last month Union beat the Dinos in one overtime period.
Union hit 13 two-pointers, five 3-pointers and tossed in 19 of 28 free throws. Coach Keith Morris was hoping for better free throw shooting.
“In practice we shoot 75 to 80% as a team, but we hit just over 60% (67% at the foul line) in the game with Carbon. We need to do better. Carbon has a good team that worked hard. We picked up our rebounding in the second half. We had five 3s and they had seven. (Union’s Birchell and Carbon’s Collin Lewis had three each),” Union Coach Morris said.
Also scoring for Union were: Birchell 12, Davis 9, Young 7, Mickelson 5, Jaden Gardner, Gillman 4; Kimbel 3. Kaleb Nelson led Carbon with 16 and Lewis added 15. Ty Anderson tossed in 10.
Anderson made two free throws to narrow Union’s lead to two points, but Anderson lost a battle with Union’s Mickelson over a loose ball and the Dinos missed some late shots at the basket.
“We were fortunate that they missed their shots late in the game,” said Coach Morris. Carbon had 13 field goals, seven 3-pointers and hit 6 of 10 free throws in the contest at Union.
Earlier in the fourth quarter Lewis hit a 3 to slice Union’s lead to one at 46-45, but Jaden Gardner hit a 3 and a foul pitch to put Union up by six at 51-45.
“I got one three in the fourth quarter. I was open and so I took it for a 3-pointer,” Gardner said.
Davis plus Birchell had field goals to keep Union in control of the game at 55-51.
“It was about time I got some shots to fall. Most of my points came on fast break buckets,” said Davis.
Birchell had two of his three 3-pointers on back-to-back shots and Price blocked a Dino shot at the hoop in the first quarter. Union led 16-13.
Union’s Mickelson had a 3-pointer at the first half buzzer for a 27-23 Union edge.
“We started rebounding in the second half and stopped them with our defense. We hit some shots in the first half that got us out to an early lead,” Mickelson said. “I had one 3. They got me the pass and I put it in for a 3-pointer.”
TJ Kimbel’s 3 came in the third quarter.
“I got a 3 to keep our lead. We kept our lead with good defense,” said Kimbel.
In the key fourth quarter, Young made a field goal and hit 1 of 2 free throws. He also was 2 for 2 at the foul line in the third quarter.
I got some shots to help us out. I made free throws that kept us ahead. I had some nice rebounds. That’s my job out there,” said Young.