The Park City High School boys' lacrosse team got off to a slow start in Monday afternoon's game against Riverton.
Despite possessing the ball for most of the first quarter, the Miners only managed to take a 2-1 lead into the second period after Chase Christensen and Kolton Atkinson found the back of the net.
The offense continued to be lackluster until halftime, when something clicked for the Miners and they cruised to an easy 17-5 victory, continuing a streak of big wins heading into the playoffs. Since April 25, Park City has won five games in a row by scores of 12-3, 9-3, 14-1, 13-1 and, now, 17-5.
By the time Monday's action was over, Atkinson, Carson Dutkanych, Christian Pompoco and Cole Flinders all netted three goals apiece, while Christensen, Justin Pickard, Ryan Smith, Jack Mintz and Chad Merrick all had one.
Park City coach Andy Langendorf said he was pleased with the control his squad showed after halftime.
"We kind of took over after halftime and finished it out the way I expected it would go," he said. "Our biggest issue [in the first half] was we were trying to shoot the ball hard instead of aiming it. We just told the kids not to panic and to continue to possess the ball and the goals would come."
But, he added, he and the coaching staff were a little nervous on the sidelines during the first two quarters.
"I worry about Riverton," Langendorf said. "They're always one of those teams that can steal a win from you if you fall asleep on them."
The Miners managed to pull away in the second half, though, sending them to the playoffs on a strong note.
Though Park City earned the right to host a first-round playoff game, Langendorf said there's still a lot of work to do ahead of Saturday's game against Bingham.
"We actually have some practice time available before Saturday," he said. "We want to clean up all of our special teams work. We still have a tendency to have a high unforced turnover rate."
And, he added, the attack will need to become more efficient on its goal-scoring chances against playoff opponents.
"We've scored a lot of goals the last five games," he said. "But, against the bigger teams in the playoffs, you won't have as many opportunities. Luckily, we have a bit of time to talk about that."
Park City defeated Bingham 9-6 earlier this year, but the Miners held a 9-2 lead before allowing Bingham to close the gap late. Langendorf said his team can't afford a repeat of that in the playoffs.
"Bingham is a quality program," he said. "There's no doubt about it that we have everything to lose and they have nothing to lose. They're big and they're tough. When it's do-or-die, all the chips are on the table sometimes that affects players and how they play."
Therefore, striving for perfection this week in practice becomes increasingly important.
"We've got to get everybody on the same page and minimize our errors," Langendorf said. "If we can do that, we're as good as anybody."
Saturday's first-round playoff game against Bingham is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. at Dozier Field.