South Summit basketball: ‘Cats searching for consistency
December 22, 2011
KAMAS — For first-year head coach Dusty Hatch, the trick is getting his young South Summit boys’ basketball team to believe it can hang with anyone.
He pointed to Wednesday night’s game in Kamas where, he said, the Wildcats came out timid, scoring just 11 points in the first half en route to a 52-38 loss to visiting Park City.
"We just can’t seem to put a whole game together and the only difference tonight was we were playing a much better team," Hatch said. "I kind of got after them at halftime. I thought they responded well in the second half.
"In our losses, we don’t feel like we can beat the teams we’re losing to and that presents a problem that we’ve got to fix."
The Wildcats responded to their coach’s demands in the second half as senior guard Matt Rydalch scored nine of his 12 points in the third quarter. Then senior forward Bonner Mitchell answered with an impressive fourth-quarter performance as the 6-foot-3 center had 10 of his team-high 15 points in the final period.
"I thought we played better, I thought we did a good job hanging with it," Hatch said. "We battled back."
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Mitchell scored nine straight points for the Wildcats late in the fourth quarter to pull them within eight of Park City, 46-38, with 1:59 remaining. On Park City’s next possession, junior guard Jay Reidhead stole the ball from Miner guard Jono Schettler but missed a breakaway layup that would have cut the Park City lead to six with 1:30 remaining.
"Had we got it within six," Hath said, "our chances were pretty good to get it competitive in the end."
Despite the loss to Park City, South Summit’s head coach said he found positives in the team’s response after a lackluster first half Wednesday night.
"We have a tendency, and I don’t know what you attribute it to, of playing afraid," he said. "With teams we don’t feel like we can beat, we don’t go out and give the effort necessary to beat them."
The Wildcats, now 3-4, will travel to Roosevelt next Thursday to visit the 3A Union Cougars. The Cougars are 1-5 this season and Hatch said he is looking at this next game as a potential step forward for his young Wildcats.
"I really felt like we’d be doing better than we’ve been doing," he said. "Union is probably a team of more of our caliber. I think that’s a game we’ll probably be closer and hopefully our level of play goes up."