Sam White decided to switch things up a bit this season. The head coach of the Park City High School girls' basketball team wanted to prepare for the 2012-13 season by starting each practice in the classroom rather than on the basketball court.

With the Miners' season-opener at home against Spanish Fork next Tuesday, they have been taking notes, studying game film and translating that onto the court afterward.

"We're trying to get them to learn the game in the classroom," White said. "We're trying to teach leadership, mental toughness and overcoming obstacles. We're trying to implement that stuff." If Park City wants to improve on its 3-14 record of a year ago, it will need to translate the time spent at the desks and on the hardwood into wins early on.

The Miners will be led this year by senior forward Carson Lyman, who averaged a double-double a year ago, and junior center Sabrina Prior.

White hopes that his players can follow Lyman's relentless style of play this season.

"She just outworks everybody," he said. "She literally outworks everybody else on the floor to get a board. We know teams are going to know about her and we're expecting teams to double-team her."

The Miners will be without two of their most talented players from a year ago. Guard Megan Lee has moved to Boise, Idaho, while fellow guard Hannah Hyatt has decided to focus on lacrosse and soccer, but will serve as a team manager this season. Both were freshman a year ago.

"It happens," White said of Lee moving to Idaho.


Advertisement

"People come and go, and you have to just roll with the punches."

Returning in the backcourt for the Miners this year will be guards Maya Mukai, a senior, and Hanna Shluker, a sophomore.

Lyman said not having Lee or Hyatt this season hurts, but pointed out that her team is talented and has some freshmen who can play a significant role this season in Marina Mayo and Madeline Komisar.

"We have some great other players coming in, so we're just making sure we can help them with whatever they need help with," she said. "They're really getting up to speed really quickly, so there's really not much that I have to do."

But once the ball is tossed at midcourt on Tuesday, Lyman will be the focal point of this Miner team. One of the more well-rounded players in 3A basketball, she can score inside and out, while also rebounding the basketball.

"There's pressure, but when I get double-teamed I can dish to other people who are open," she said.

White said Park City's game plan defensively this season will be to disguise formations that will allow the Miners' best players to stay out of foul trouble and, more importantly, stay in the game.

"Half the team is super experienced; half of the team is not, but they're skilled, so it's good," he said.

Offensively, much like the last few seasons, White said his team must improve its outside shooting in order to stay in games with some of the more talented teams it will face.

"We obviously need to keep shooting and working on our shooting," he said. "We obviously want to pull it out and shoot 3-pointers and we have some people who can do that."

Outside shooting aside, the Miners have their work cut out for them in Region 10 play. Juan Diego was 20-5 a year ago, led by freshmen twins Dominique and Monique Mills. Judge Memorial's Kailie Quinn is considered one of the most talented players in 3A basketball, and White said he expects rival Wasatch also to be strong this season.

"It's going to be a tough region. We want to make playoffs this year and we want to be in the top four," he said. "We're going to do everything we can to get that spot."

When asked what she's most excited for this year, Lyman said, "Just getting ready to win some games."