County hoops tip-off with Braves’ win
An old saying goes that ‘it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog.’ It seemed to be true on Tuesday night as the North Summit Braves defeated the Park City Miners, 60-54, in the opening tip of girl’s prep basketball in the county for the 2005-06 season.
According to North Summit head coach Sheldon Smith, the Braves use their speed and aggressiveness to combat larger opposing lineups. North Summit’s starting five doesn’t even break the six-foot barrier in height compared to the taller Park City lineup.
Park City stared out well, immediately making an 11-2 run in the first quarter. North Summit quickly found its bearings and closed out the second half leading by six points. In the third, the Brave’s continued their dominance jumping ahead to a 12-point lead. But it was in the fourth that the Braves really showed the size of their fight. They lost starters Danielle Francis and Candace Smith, who fouled out, and Park City tied up the score. But, North Summit was able to hit big shots in the remaining minutes and won by six.
The Miners’ senior Kim MacKaben led all scorers with 23 points. North Summit juniors Ashley Seeright, Candace Smith and senior Jessica Ward, led the Braves in scoring. The Braves were also strong from the line, shooting 59 percent. In comparison, the Miners hit only 17 out of 39 from the charity stripe.
"We shot OK, what hurt us most were our free throws," said Miners head coach Steve Crandall. "We had opportunities." North Summit’s Smith, an assistant who moved into the head position this year, hopes to continue the Braves success in the preseason. The schedule has includes a number of 3A teams to give the girls a challenge before they start Region 14 play.
"We want to play tough teams. Being able to play Park City, Union and North Sanpete bigger schools gives you an extra challenge," Smith said.
He added that their biggest early hurdle will come in the next week of play, when the girls face Union, Lyman (Wyo.) and Manti on back-to-back nights following the four-day Thanksgiving holiday break.
"I think we prepared the last couple of weeks with conditioning," Coach Smith said. "We’ll fine-tune after Park City, but they’ll be ready"
Even in the loss, Park City was able to finish losing only by a small margin, giving them a positive to build on in the new season. They also two played promising freshman. Nicole Bishop finished the night with eight blocks and Aundrea Hargroder contributed at the point position.
"We played pretty well," said Crandall. "We just came up a little short"
"Park City has a good team," Coach Smith said. "They looked pretty good. They started freshman, so there are good things to come."
North Summit faces Union on Tuesday, Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. Park City travels to Grantsville on Tuesday at 7 p.m.
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