Boys suffer second straight loss Friday
After a difficult loss to the league-leading Judge Bulldogs last week, Park City high school head basketball coach Matt Nagel hoped for his team to rebound in a big way against the Union Cougars on the road Friday night.
No such luck.
The Miners struggled to score in the second half and fell to Union 65-39.
"It’s frustrating to have the same thing happen," Nagel said.
Things started out well enough, as the Miners held their own against the Cougars, finishing the first quarter leading by one point, 16-15. But then the Miners’ scoring efforts went cold, scoring just nine points in the second quarter and 14 in the entire second half.
"They shot better than when Union was at Park City, but none of that excuses fourteen points in the second half," Nagel said. "We’ve figured out how to start off strong, now we just have to figure out the third."
Still, Nagel says that the second-place Cougars are better than expected. He said that if the Judge team that faced Park City played Friday night’s Union team, the Bulldogs would have had some trouble.
"I think Union is closer to Judge than ever before," Nagel said.
Nagel needs his team to keep heading uphill as they fight to maintain position in region and earn a playoff berth. He felt that the Miners could have kept themselves in the game against Union, but as their scoring went south, their defense and rebounding meant less and less.
"If we had played our best, our loss might have been by five," Nagel said. "They worked really hard on defense in the first half. We need to figure out how to put together a complete game."
Park City is now in a three-way fight with Morgan and Wasatch for fourth place in Region 10 and faces both of them this week.
"A win would put us in good shape," Nagel said.
On Monday, the Park City coaching staff practiced with the varsity and junior varsity squad to make sure that they were ready for the challenge ahead and realized the importance of this week’s games.
"Every game from here on out is essential," Nagel said.
He does feel good about the Miners’ attitude. Rather than seeing the Judge and Union losses as moral victories, he says that the boys are frustrated.
"Here’s the telling sign," Nagel said. "They wanted to be close against Judge, but wanted to beat Union. We’re not playing for pride, we’re playing for wins."
The Miners will have a chance to gather another win when they host Wasatch on Friday, Feb. 2 at 5:15 p.m. in the Park City High School gymnasium.
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