Girls start region schedule with big win
The Park City High School girls basketball team did more than start the regular season off on the right foot. They jumped in with both feet, easily beating the Union Cougars at home 52-39.
It took awhile for Park City to pull ahead, leading by two points in the first period and only one point at halftime. But things got going in the second half when the Miners outscored the Cougars 29-17.
"It was the tail of two halves," said Park City assistant coach Matt Mapstone. "We were letting them hang around, which was a problem in preseason."
After a halftime lecture to the team that Mapstone called, "animated," the Miners came out strong.
The Miners’ newfound potent combo of forward Lauren Deane and guard Lacey Jones again led the team like the head last week against South Summit. Deane led all scorers with 21 points and nine rebounds, and Jones followed closely behind with 13 points.
"I feel a lot more comfortable," Jones said. "Our preseason got us ready for Region. I think we have the experience to finish games in Region."
The other seniors also got into the act with Laurel Christensen and Ali Tingey both scoring six points apiece and Allie Winkelman playing well on defense.
"We definitely came together as a team tonight," Jones said. "All of us playing hard helps us know we can play the game."
Jones said that the four seniors have been playing together since freshmen year and finally being the team leaders is a big deal for them.
"I think it’s one of our advantages," Jones said.
Mapstone says it will take the contributions of the team members to continue to win during the difficult Region 10 schedule.
"It’s the key to our success," Mapstone said.
The other key has been getting the ball into Jones’ hands when opponents double team and manhandle Deane.
"We’re gonna see a lot of that," Mapstone said. "They’ll play Lauren straight up and resort to pushing and grabbing. We’re going to have to deal with that."
The Union win was important not only to set an early winning precedent, but to give the Miners some leverage in Region 10 play. With powerhouses like undefeated Morgan and 8-4 Wasatch on the horizon, the Miners need to win the less daunting games.
"I kind of hoped and prayed we’d win this one," Jones said. "This is one of the one’s I thought we could win. If we can carry confidence into the next games, it will help."
Even more important, is avoiding first halves where the Miners are barely leading, which could allow teams to sneak in and grab a sizable point spread. The Miners will try to continue to play like they did in the second half with back-to-back games scheduled against Morgan on Tuesday and Wasatch on Friday.
"The first win is huge," Mapstone said. "We’ve got to take momentum to Morgan and Wasatch."
The Miners will travel to Heber to face Wasatch on Friday night, Jan. 12 at 7 p.m.
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