Although the Miners girls' basketball team lost 56-50 in the final stretch against the West Panthers at home on Thursday night, it was a big improvement over the team's 46-25 loss at Murray on Tuesday.
The Miners' leading scorer, Carson Lyman, turned in an epic performance Thursday, finishing with 32 points and 19 rebounds. As Park City's top offensive and defensive player, Lyman is averaging a double-double in four games this season.
"She was playing out of her mind," said Park City head coach Sam White.
Park City's post duo of Lyman and Sabrina Prior was able to maintain control inside with little challenge from the Panthers.
"They (West) did not have an answer for them," White said.
After an abysmal shooting night in Murray, White spent Wednesday's practice almost entirely focused on shooting. The result was a complete team effort with very balanced scoring among the Miner players.
"You could see the hard work paying off," White said. "I was proud. We exploded."
In the end, the Miners hung in with Panthers but couldn't break away for the win.
"We needed to make some better decisions down the stretch," White said. "We haven't learned how to close out a game. I completely take the blame."
The Miners are a fairly young team, but White is pleased with how quickly the girls are learning and improving. Against Murray on Tuesday night, he was impressed by the team's defense that held a good-shooting team to just 46 points, but the Miners could not get a shot to fall.
"We played the defensive game of our lives," White said. "But we couldn't buy a basket."
The women struggled to score from the opening tip. Luckily, so did the Spartans. Slowed by turnovers and size mismatches, the Spartans led just 6-4 after the first quarter. However, the Spartans rolled in the second quarter, hitting multiple shots and using a taller lineup to outman the Miners. At halftime they held a 19-8 lead.
Park City made some adjustments in the second half to better match up with Murray's tall lineup. Led by aggressive defense and solid shooting from Lyman, the Miners were able to show some energy and spark, but it wasn't enough. In an all-around shooting effort, Murray had nine different players put points on the board.
The Spartans' Brittany Golder led all scorers with 12 points and nine rebounds. Lyman led the Miners with 10 points, and Prior scored nine, converting on numerous trips to the charity stripe.