Hoops tip off
The Park City High School Booster Club ought to hold a special banquet just for its transfer students.
So far this year, the Miners have received big boosts from students who moved into Park City and immediately made an impact on their teams. First, Derek Alcorn from Washington helped lead the boys’ cross-country team to a state championship. Then Lizzy Silverstein came to town from Tampa to combine with Nicole Bishop for one of the tallest front lines in all of Utah high school volleyball and helped the team to a region 10 title. Now, the newest addition to top transfers students is girls’ basketball player Laurel Kasel, who is already making an impact for the Miners. In their first game of the season against 4A Granger on Tuesday night, she lead the team with an impressive 16 points.
Although the Miners lost to the Lancers 44-37, the team showed that it had plenty of talent and skill to build upon, especially from Kasel. The sophomore from Princeton, N.J. moved to Park City this summer and began participating in open gym sessions immediately. Now that the season has officially started, she is definitely a strong part of the team. Kasel created numerous turnovers and shots uses her quick thinking and fast feet.
"It’s nice to have a sophomore with that much ability," new Park City head coach Sam White said. "She’s very fast, so we’re able to slyly have her score against teams that bigger and stronger before they can set their defense."
The Miners started out the game against Granger well, trailing just 11-10 at the end of the first quarter. Unfortunately, they were outsized at almost every position by the Lancers, which made getting into their offensive positions difficult.
"Some of their team was very big," Kasel said. "We tried to create offense off of each other. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t."
Still, a steady stream of made free throws and layups kept the girls in the game. They finished the second quarter trailing by two points, 21-19.
In the third quarter, Granger’s size and tough defense began to take its toll on the Miners, who had trouble grabbing rebounds and making layups around the big Granger girls.
"On the long boards, we were OK," said Sam White. "On the short boards they [Granger] were in control."
"We could have done better," Kasel added. "We should have capitalized on a lot of layups."
the end of the third quarter, the Lancers had taken a seven-point lead.
In the fourth quarter, the Lancers led off with a three-point-shot that set the tone for the rest of the game. The physicality in the game seemed to take the Miners out of their rhythm. Although both the Miners and the Lancers scored 12 points in the fourth quarter, Granger’s dominance on the offensive boards and defense allowed them to keep the lead they had gained in the third quarter.
"When they got possession on us, they took advantage of it and scored," Kasel said.
Still, White was impressed with the Miners’ effort against such a strong and imposing team.
"They’re just a tough, physical team," he said.
White said that the Miners tried to push the ball on Granger to take advantage of their superior quickness and ability, and hopes to continue to work on that before the girls see more big teams in Region 10 play.
He said that part of the problem in the second half may have been zone defense. He said in practice they have been working mostly on man-to-man-defense, but he said they will begin working against more zone defense this next week.
"Some of these new zones surprise us," he said. "We need to prepare. In region, we’re probably going to see it more."
Despite the loss, White said he was very impressed by how Park City opened the season.
"The hustle was great. The intensity was great."
The Miners will be in action again when they host Juan Diego on Tuesday, Dec. 2, at 7 p.m.
Boys nearly beat Jordan
It was a huge opening night for the Park City boys team, who came within just a few points of overcoming 5A Jordan, losing 60-58. Senior Tony Epperson led the team with 20 points.
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Starting Friday, fires and charcoal grilling will only be allowed in improved fire pits or grills on the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest.