Miners can’t fully complete comeback in loss to Union
Down nine at the half, PCHS claws back to force overtime
January 13, 2017
With just 15 seconds left in regulation and trailing by two points to Union, the Park City High School girls' basketball team was scrambling to find the bottom of the net. The Miners chucked shot after shot, as many as they could in 15 seconds, to try give themselves a chance to win in overtime.
Each shot, however, would not fall. The ball clanked off the iron two or three times before it bounced into the hands of senior Jessica Perry. She took the ball, took a couple hard dribbles into the paint and scooped her arm up for a layup. The shot didn't fall, but a whistle echoed through the The Shaft with just 0.9 seconds left on the clock — foul on Union.
Being the leader she is, Perry calmly stepped up to the charity stripe, drained both of her free throws to tie the game up at 52-52. The teams were headed to overtime.
"I felt like we had the momentum going into overtime," PCHS Head Coach Sam White said. "I feel like any time you're behind and you tie it up and go into overtime, you have the momentum."
That momentum, however, quickly halted as the overtime period began. The Cougars came right out of the gate with a quick bucket, and with the high school's overtime period being just four minutes, falling behind early wasn't in the plan for White and company.
"From then on, we were playing kind of behind," White said. "Overtimes are kind of crappy in high school, because you can score like two baskets and just stall and hold the ball."
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Unfortunately for the Miners, they were unable to come back for a second time in the game, dropping the Region 10 opener to Union 64-58. Despite the loss, there were plenty of positives to take away from the game, including the fact that Park City had the mental composure to complete a comeback and extend the game.
"The girls played a really good game and I was proud of them for fighting back and coming down from nine at half to take [Union] into overtime," White said. "That was a big step for us. … I think we also learned a little bit of mental composure at the end of the game. We could've lost that game in regulation and we could've won that game in regulation."
Leading the way for the Miners was the dynamic duo of Lois Garlow and Perry. The two combined for 43 of the team's 48 points, while Garlow finished with 22 and Perry with 21. Montana Landis chipped in eight points, including a couple of buckets from her hot spot on the free-throw line.
Union was led by Tori Ross with 19 points, while Carly Blake added 17.
After finishing the first quarter down by just a single point at 10-9, the Miners certainly felt this was a winnable game. But after some adjustments on the bunch, Union took over in the second quarter by racing past Park City's man defense to go up 26-17 at the half.
There, White was looking to make his own adjustments in the locker room. The coaching staff got together and decided that out of all the defenses they have in their playbook, they were going to go with the 2-3 zone in the second half.
"We talked a lot about spacing [at halftime]," White said. "We talked a lot about defensive intensity. … For the most part, the second half was all 2-3 [zone]. We were kind of just trying to pack it in a little bit."
And that strategy worked, at least for the third quarter. The Miners outscored the Cougars 18-9 in the frame in order to tie things at 35-35 heading into the fourth and final quarter.
There, it was a scoring frenzy. Both teams scored 17 points in order to finish regulation tied at 52-52 before the Miners fell to the Cougars in the extra period.
With the loss, White called the team's next game on the road against Tooele on Thursday night a must-win. The Miners were looking to avoid starting region play 0-2, but a cold shooting night led to the 47-37 loss on the road.
Knowing that there's tougher teams ahead on the schedule, White and company were hoping to avoid getting in this position.
"Stansbury and Grantsville are probably going to be the two toughest [teams in the region]," White said. "We've got to get some wins where we can."
Next up for the Miners is a matchup with Stansbury on Tuesday. Tip-off is scheduled 7 p.m. from The Shaft.