Miners pull off another narrow victory
Ryan Summerlin January 22, 2013
There seems to be a pattern developing in the Park City boys’ basketball team’s Region 10 games.
Four games into their region schedule, the Miners have provided four nail-biting finishes.
After two last-second home wins, the Miners got a taste of their own medicine, losing on a last-second three on Jan. 11 at Union.
Friday night, however, Park City got back to protecting its home court, toppling the Uintah Utes in overtime, 68-59.
The Miners blew several leads in regulation but were able to finish off the Utes with a solid performance from the free-throw line in overtime.
Park City coach Caleb Fine said he’s proud of his team’s resilience, but is worried about the defensive lapses the team suffers on occasion.
"The good news is we’ve found a way to be on top more often than not," he said. "But I’m waiting for my team to grasp the killer instinct. We get up by five or six and we relax."
He noted that his team stepped it up from the line when it mattered the most. In fact, the Miners scored 17 of their 19 overtime points from the charity stripe.
"Four or five guys really stepped up and hit free throws," he said.
The Miners also received an offensive spark from Tom Wood, a junior guard who normally doesn’t score a lot of points. Wood finished the game with 14 points and grabbed several key rebounds.
"Tom was the Energizer bunny," Fine said. "If we don’t have Tom tonight, we don’t win this game."
Fine added that Wood’s performance was even more crucial because the Utes were focused on keeping senior guard Hayden Daily from getting in a groove offensively.
"I knew I kind of had to step up," Wood said. "I had to knock something down."
"He hasn’t scored a lot for us this year," Fine added. "But today he stepped up and hit some open shots when we needed him to. And I love the fact that he rebounded the basketball."
Wood credited Fine for stressing rebounding after the team was dominated on the boards in the loss to Union.
"In practice this week we put a lot of stress on rebounding," he said. "It’s all on coach he really got it in my head just to crash every time."
Sophomore guard Bosten VanDerVeur paced the Miners, scoring 24 points. Senior forward Ryan Sherman added 19. VanDerVeur and Sherman combined to score all 19 first-quarter points for Park City.
Though the game was sloppy at times, Fine was happy that his team picked up its third home win in three games against Region 10 opponents.
"It’s huge to protect the home court," he said. "It wasn’t pretty, but I’m very proud of the boys for gutting out a win."
Wood said a 3-0 home region record is something he and his teammates can be proud of.
"Playing home games is like the funnest thing in the world," he said. "I love the atmosphere; the energy in here is just crazy. Just to be able to win for those guys is great."
Park City improved to 7-9 overall (3-1 region) with the win. The Miners will be back in action tonight at Judge Memorial. They travel to Wasatch on Friday to play their second game against their biggest rivals.