OGDEN - It's one of the hardest games to play in the 3-A tournament. First you lose in the quarterfinal round, ending your hopes of a state championship. Then you have to come back and play the first game of the day in the consolation bracket.
But the Bear River Bears overcame that challenge, knocking Carbon out of the tournament with a 56-48 win on Friday morning at the Dee Events Center. The win gives the Bears one more day to fight, this time with fifth place on the line.
"I'm just so proud of the girls to get to the third day," Bears coach Van Park said. "Last year we got to state, but didn't get to the third day. So I'm just really happy for them and it will help the program."
Jordan Theurer, Terrell Fridal and Alyssa Park led a strong fourth quarter effort by the Bears in which they outscored the Dinos 24-14. Theurer led all scorers with 16 points, while Park added 11 points and 10 rebounds. Fridal, despite still feeling the effects of the flu, dominated inside during the fourth quarter. She finished with eight points, five rebounds and two blocks.
"You could see in the first half that some of our girls didn't play with a lot of emotion," Park said. "And rightly so. We got home late and then had to leave early this morning. But by the fourth quarter I was really proud of how we competed, how we made foul shots, how we rebounded and how we played defense."
The Bears hit 14-of-19 free throws in the second half and held Carbon to 24.5 percent shooting for the game.
Carbon's Katie Basinger had the shot of the game, nailing a legitimate half-court bomb at the first quarter buzzer. The bank shot even had some Bear River fans clapping. Fortunately for the Bears, the shot didn't affect the final outcome.
"That's happened to us a lot this year," Park said, "where teams have just hucked it up at half court and it's gone in."
The Bears will play Delta on Saturday at 10 a.m.