After watching the 3-A State tournament, I came away with some concrete conclusions that I thought I would share with you.
First, Morgan Warburton is by far the best player in this classification, if not the entire state. She simply altered the way that other teams played their game. Both Canyon View and Morgan High Schools' game plans centered on the premise of pressing full court and creating havoc for their opponents. This worked well for both teams all season until they played Carbon.
Against Carbon though, they were unsuccessful in their attempts to gain any advantage as Warburton's ball handling expertise and her ability to see and find her teammates with passes led to good things for the Dinos. Morgan single handedly changed their game plans.
Second, Carbon actually has a pretty good team without Morgan. They won on opening day with her on the bench in foul trouble. She probably only played about 15 minutes but the Dinos, under the excellent leadership and play of Halee Rasmussen, won easily. After Morgan fouled out of the championship game, they maintained their lead again rather easily.
Third, this was not a great year for 3-A boys teams. Despite some pretty good win-loss records, there was not a team that could dominate the classification. Tooele, the champion, would have been Emery's opening opponent if they had defeated Dixie. Emery matched up well.
Fourth, probably the only team in 3-A basketball that could have defeated Carbon this year was Emery High. After watching them this season quite a lot, I came to the conclusion that the only team that could beat Emery was Emery themselves. After having Region 8 rival Delta finish fifth in the state, I firmly believe that Emery was at worst, the third best team in the state but probably was the second. Oh, but for some free throws to fall.
Fifth, I was truly troubled by the attitudes of the losing teams in both of the championship games. The players and their fans, some but not all, were abusive, snotty and rude to their opponents and their fans both during and after the games. This is uncalled for. I can abuse a referee as good as anyone, but there is a line you should never cross. This line was crossed at the tournament.
Sixth, with the other games that I watched and had absolutely no bias in, I came to the conclusion that most officials do a decent job. There was not one game at the E Center where the official's decisions caused a team to lose. I had to bite my tongue more than once though as I wanted to tell the fans that what they thought they had seen was not what they had seen at all. Bias does funny things to our eyesight.
Even though the E Center is a horrid place to broadcast from because of the darkness in the press area and the lousy seating arrangements, this was a decent venue to hold the tournament. Good parking, hotels right there and good food at the games and right next door. I still prefer SUU though.