Taking the next step | ParkRecord.com

Taking the next step

Christopher Kamrani, Of the Record staff

What are the expectations of a team that has won a total of four games in the last two season?

A region championship.

This year’s Park City High School girl’s basketball team has everything most Miner teams in the past haven’t talent, athleticism, height, speed and experience.

Expectations are high around the Miners as they enter the 2010-11 season. The season-opener is now Dec. 1 at Waterford after Tuesday night’s home opener was cancelled due to severe weather.

Good thing, too. Park City’s star two-guard and last year’s fourth leading scorer in the state, Laurel Kasel, rolled her ankle in Monday’s practice and was hobbled.

"That gives (Kasel) six days to heal, so that’s good for us," he said.

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But the roster isn’t just Kasel.

White singled out players such as Carson Lyman, Bailey Tibbitts, Lexi Malone and Maggie Avila as who are no doubt going to help Kasel shoulder the load as the season wears on.

"We’ve got a lot of good players who have talent," he said.

Last year, Lyman started every game as a freshman and will be a versatile player for the Miners, as will Tibbitts.

"We have to have everybody kind of buy in and know their role," White said.

What the girls will bring to the court this season will be much like the boys’ team a lightning-quick effort on both offense and defense.

"We’ve got a really fast team," White said. "A lot of athletes, we’re looking to full-court press it as much we can and then get out on fast-paced fast breaks.

"I anticipate enough fast break that each player can get 10 or 15 (points) and (Kasel’s) getting 30. In an ideal situation, if we’re in such a fast-break mode that they can just go back and forth, if we have that it doesn’t matter who they’re keying in on."

It’s White’s third year with the program, and while he acknowledged not everything has worked out as he planned, he sees the turning of the corner right in front of him.

"First two were pretty rough," he said. "But it’s a lot more fun to win."

White will have to relay on ball handlers like Abby Cohen and Annie Orr to get out on the break and share the ball; Kasel will be the focus of most teams’ defensive game plan, and White knows that having the depth and height he hasn’t had in the past will help his team get around that.

"We’re going to fight every game and play hard," White said. "We’ll see how it goes."

Park City’s Region 10 schedule is no cakewalk. Wasatch and Carbon are perennial powerhouses in 3A girls’ basketball. Park City’s early season schedule will help the team get its feet wet in preparation for Region 10 showdowns.

"We’ve got a much better schedule this year," White said. "We’re playing some easier teams to start off with compared to last year."

As practice wound down, White and assistant coach Tracey Kasel ran five-on-five drills working on getting the ball inbounds and down the court in less than five seconds. More often than not, the ball was shared, with speed a determining factor, and the play resulted in an easy lay-up.

Things look to be on the right track for White and his team.

"Region will definitely be tough," White said. "But we want a region championship, there’s no doubt about that."

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