Braves win in Summit County battle
At some point, the thought of playing a 3A team like Park City must have seemed intimidating to 2A North Summit, but they never let it show.
With the use of steady, consistent team play, the Braves answered the Miners basket for basket all game long until finally breaking through in the final minutes to claim the 51-43 victory over their intra-county rivals.
"I was impressed with the teamwork. It took the whole team," said North Summit head coach Sheldon Smith.
And the numbers reflected it. Amy Donaldson led the Braves with 13 points, but Candace Smith and Angel Seright were right behind her with 12 and 8 points, respectively.
Coach Smith said the plan going into the game was to key in on Park City’s prolific scorer Lauren Deane. North Summit did their best to contain her, holding her to a respectable 20 points.
"She’s a great ball player," Smith said.
On the other side of the floor, the Miners were looking for their first win by creating more offensive chances and trying to capitalize on them.
Both teams stayed with one or two points of each another for most of the contest until a series of missed shots at the end of the game allowed the Braves to make baskets both from the floor and at the line to pull ahead for the victory.
"We had our chances and we missed all three of them," lamented Park City head coach Steve Crandall.
It’s the missed shots against tough teams that Crandall says is costing his team in both wins and confidence. He said he was very happy with the number of opportunities and shots taken, they just need to start dropping.
"They all got more opportunities tonight," Crandall said. "They just didn’t knock them down."
The Miners also hoped to keep the scoring and defensive pressure of off Deane by attempting more shots, but the shooting woes and poor rebounding kept the focus on the star forward. Park City finished the night with just 11 offensive boards, compared to the Braves’ 30 defensive rebounds.
Deane did her best to keep the Miners close, but even she had a relatively off night, scoring about 10 points less than in previous games. Still, Crandall seemed pleased.
"If you can have an off night and get 20, I’ll take it," he said.
He was also happy with the play of center Nicole Bishop who started using her superior six-foot five-inch frame to make plays far out of reach of the shorter North Summit players.
Crandall says that despite the divisional difference the annual game with the Braves has always been a competitive one, with both teams fighting until the final buzzer. North Summit also brought with them a sizable crowd from Coalville, whose raucous cheering may have helped the Braves to pull away for the win late in the fourth quarter.
"It was kind of a fun game to watch," admitted Crandall. "They’ll do well in 2A."
Smith was also full of compliments for his Summit County competitor who he says he looks forward to playing with every year.
"We look at Park City and they have a great program," Smith said. "It helps us in our league."
The Miners were able to rebound and earn their first win decisively, 47-22, on Wednesday night against 1A St. Joseph’s. Deane led the team with 19 points, and the team was finally able to establish a precedent on which to build throughout the rest of their difficult preseason schedule and in Region 10 play.
"For the mental, it’s huge," Crandall said.
The Miners will look to earn their second win at North Sanpete on Dec. 12 at 7 p.m.
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