Brighton breaks Miners’ streak
Park City High school tennis coach Scooter Mastain keeps calling his team’s varsity matchup against 5A powerhouse Brighton, "Brighton Match Memoirs" in reference to the play "Brighton Beach Memoirs," and he’s right about one thing it’s a match the Miners won’t soon forget. After 14 straight wins this season the Miners lost to the Bengals 5-1 on Tuesday.
"They are a good team," admitted Mastain. "I wouldn’t be surprised if they won the 5A championship."
Mastain had purposely scheduled Brighton late in the season to help prepare the boys for the Region 10 championships, which are being held this weekend and for the state finals in two weeks. But Tuesday’s match-up went from a tune-up to a wake-up call pretty quickly with the losses coming in straight sets.
"We played tough and played well, but we got outplayed. That’s a valuable lesson," Mastain said.
Park City’s only win came in doubles action. The No. 1 doubles duo of Blake Barcus and Beau Freckleton won a third set tiebreaker to beat Sky Grahn and Josh Davila.
In singles action, freshman Sam Miller came close to adding another win, losing only 3-6, 3-6 to Matt Larsen. Mastain says with faster footwork and a few more years on his game he will win those close games.
Mastain said the loss has already helped his team to become more focused and determined as they face tough competition on the road to the state championship.
"They were bummed. They were upset," Mastain said. "I think they recognized that they need to buckle down."
Mastain was also hard on his performance at the match. In the midst off the No. 1 doubles game, he went on the court and loudly instructed his players. Although the conversation was constructive, Mastain felt he had crossed a line.
"This was the first time we were faced with losing and I folded under the pressure," Mastain said.
He admitted that he too will become more focused for the region and state finals, and plans on spending his time becoming aware of opponents’ weaknesses and helping his team with strategy rather than correcting them mid-game.
Mastain says that since the St. George Tournament when Pine View gave the Miners their first true test, Park City has been aware that they are a team to beat, and the Brighton match confirmed it.
"We have to combat that by making no errors and knowing their weaknesses," Mastain said.
At the Region 10 Championships, Mastain is challenging the team to see every opponent as Brighton to keep their mind focusing on winning even if they far outmatch the other player.
"Every team stands in our way. Every team poses a threat," Mastain said.
The No. 2 doubles team for the region finals was named Thursday and included Jack
Burrus and either Tyler Needham or Eric Pace. Pace stepped in at the Brighton match at
the No. 2 singles spot for Taylor Smith, who was making up a test.
The Region Championships continue Saturday, May 12 at the Liberty Park courts.
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