Miners secure spots in playoffs | ParkRecord.com

Miners secure spots in playoffs

Kristina Eastham, Of the Record staff

Both the boys’ and girls’ Park City High School basketball teams prevailed over the Uintah Utes Tuesday night at home to secure spots in the Region 10 playoffs.

Girls

After suffering a loss to the Utes earlier in the season, the Miners managed a win over Uintah Tuesday, with a final score of 40-25.

In their last match-up, the Miners lost a close game to the Utes, losing by only two points. Coach Matt Mapstone says the girls were "really upset about that" and had been reflecting on the loss since then. He says the girls were "really wanting to play them" and "looking forward" to the game.

The girls managed to combine follow-through with their anticipation for the game with the entire team pitching in, to defeat the Utes. Both teams looked strong early in the game.

"We played pretty even the first half," Mapstone said.

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But the Miners managed to pull ahead by 10, going into the fourth quarter with a score of 31-21. The team’s scoring was spread across the board, with Lauren Deane leading with 11, including a three-pointer within the last minute of the game. But points were also scored by Nicole Bishop (9 points), Carina Crosby (7), Aubrey Warner (6), and freshman Sarah Kubicki (5).

Mapstone referred to the team’s win as a "more balanced attack," which is something the team hopes to keep up as they play out the season and head into the playoffs.

"We want to finish strong, build off the team effort we had Tuesday and see what happens," Mapstone said.

The Miners were scheduled to play their last regular season game against Judge Memorial Catholic High School Friday night, after press time. While they will be heading to the regional playoffs regardless, a win would secure a third-place for Park City.

Boys

The boys also landed a spot in the Region 10 playoffs Tuesday night with a 56-38 win over Uintah High School at home.

The Miners will be heading to the playoffs, in either the third or fourth spot, for the first time since the 2001 season, according to Coach Jim Boyce. Boyce says he is "impressed and proud of" the way the team has been playing.

The Miners pulled ahead 10-0 at the start of Tuesday’s game, complementing their smooth-flowing offense with an aggressive defense. It was four minutes into the game before Uintah managed to score. The boys, growing a bit too comfortable in their lead, allowed Uintah to close the gap in a comeback attempt late in the second quarter. Uintah’s 6′ 7" senior Dax Upton scored with just over a minute left in the first half, making the score 24-23.

But that was the closest Uintah would come to catching up with PCHS. The Miners scored another couple of shots, making the score 28-23 at the end of the first half.

Boyce tries to remind the boys not to "play conditionally" and to play their hardest regardless of the score.

"You’ve got to play the same if you’re up ten, you’re down ten, you’re tired," Boyce said. "You’ve got to make sure you keep that same level of effort the whole time."

But Boyce recognized the way a team benefits when playing with a lead.

"When you’re up 10, your shots are a lot easier to shoot and if you’re down 10 there’s more pressure to hit this shot to come back," Boyce said.

Sitting comfortably, the Miners went into the second half with a renewed vigor. The Miners achieved their goal from earlier this season of improving their rebounding.

"We out-rebounded them by about eight or nine," Boyce said.

PCHS Senior Brett Miller, who Boyce refers to as a "fluid" and "reliable" player, sunk shot after shot, finishing the game with a season high of 22 points, as well as six rebounds. The Miners finished the third quarter strong, with a score of 41-32 and played aggressively throughout the fourth, scoring another 15 points to the Utes’ six, for a final score of 56-38.

Going into their last regular season game and the playoffs, Boyce is helping to improve the team’s offense and maximizing their scoring.

"I’ve tried to focus on offense [and] just really trying to make sure we get a good shot every possession down," Boyce said.

He also recognizes the role confidence plays.

"As a player and a coach, you’ve always got to expect to be successful when you go onto the court," Boyce said.

The boys were scheduled to play their last regular-season game Friday night against Judge Memorial Catholic High School after press time.

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