Buzzer beater leads Miners to victory
January 8, 2013
The Park City fans were despondent. After Wasatch had held the ball for most of the last three minutes of Friday night’s game at Park City High School, Wasatch guard Cooper Ballstaedt was fouled with the score tied at 44.
As Park City fans showered him, and the referees, with boos, he calmly knocked down both free throws, giving the Wasps the lead with only 3.4 seconds remaining in the game. The Miners appeared on the brink of continuing a six-year losing streak against their biggest rivals.
On the ensuing inbound play, the ball was rocketed to half-court, where sophomore guard Bosten VanDerVeur stumbled while picking it up. But he was able to recover in time, face the basket and launch an off-balance desperation three-point attempt as time expired.
When the ball unexpectedly found the bottom of the net, the fans, once silent, exploded and swarmed the Miners on the court as Park City defeated Wasatch for the first time since 2006, 47-46.
"I’ve hit big shots before," VanDerVeur said. "But that was the biggest shot I’ve ever hit, by far."
"That’s the biggest shot we’ve ever had in a Region 10 game in that situation," Park City coach Caleb Fine added. "I’m speechless."
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But, Fine said, the amazing play almost didn’t happen.
"That’s not the way we drew it up. I tried to call a time-out 22 times while Bosten had the ball," he said. "Thank goodness the ref didn’t see me."
That wasn’t the only excitement in the last quarter of Friday’s game. Wasatch was running out on a fast break after a missed shot by Park City with slightly more than two minutes remaining in the game when play was stopped by police officers running across the court. A fight had broken out where the Park City student section met the Wasatch student section.
After order was restored and play resumed, the Wasps stalled, passing the ball around the perimeter and keeping it away from the Park City offense until only 3.4 seconds remained.
Though Fine would have liked to have forced a turnover, he credited his defense for not having a breakdown in that clutch situation.
"We were proud of the way they defended," he said. "A team that stalls like that in that situation – they didn’t want to give us the ball back because they were afraid of what we’d do with it. But give them credit for being disciplined. It was an impressive stall."
VanDerVeur finished the game with 15 points to lead all scorers. Eleven of his points came in the first half.
Senior Chris Johnson had 11 points to lead Wasatch. Jeff Murdock added eight points and Bailey Giles had seven.
Seniors Ryan Sherman and Hayden Daily played big roles in their last scheduled home game against Wasatch, each scoring 13 points. Daily and Sherman were especially good in the second half, scoring 17 of Park City’s 21 points after halftime. In the third quarter, they scored all nine Miner points, keeping the team from falling too far behind.
"I really did not want to lose," Daily said. "We always have a bad quarter. We didn’t want it to be another game where we had a bad quarter."
"We made a lot of mistakes, but we found a way to win," Sherman added. "There’s not a better feeling in the world than beating Wasatch. I’ve wanted this since my freshman year. We got it tonight."
Daily added that he hopes the win starts a tradition of taking down Park City’s biggest rival.
"It sets the standard that all the other (PCHS) teams need to beat Wasatch because it’s such a big rivalry," he said.
With the win, Park City (5-8 overall) is 1-0 in Region 10 play, which Fine said is the most important thing.
"It’s all about Region 10," he said. "Today we were 0-0; now we’re 1-0. That’s all that matters."
"We’ve got a taste for wins," VanDerVeur added. "Now we just have to go out and get some more."