Miners make good showing against Bulldogs
It may not have been a victory for the Park City boys basketball team against bitter rival Judge on Friday at home, but the final score of 60-48 surely was a step in the right direction.
"We were pleased by our efforts," said Park City senior Tony Epperson.
After years of tough-fought battles against the Bulldogs, the Miners came out strong against Judge. The Miners trailed 18-10 after the first quarter, but quickly found their momentum in the second. Led by senior Tony Epperson, the team went on a scoring drive to tie the Bulldogs at 22-22 with four minutes left before halftime. The Miners even pulled ahead for a few minutes before the Bulldogs got back on their feet to close out the half 31-27.
"We got good looks and passes and shots were falling," Epperson said.
What kept the Miners from closing the gap even more was the third quarter. According to Park City’s Alex Cohen, the Miners "couldn’t buy a bucket," as they scored a paltry nine points to the Bulldogs’ 18.
"I would have put in $20 to have bought some scoring," joked Park City head coach Jim Boyce. "We didn’t score for five-and-a-half, six minutes in the third … We just couldn’t execute."
The Miners got their momentum back in the fourth quarter, scoring 12 points to the Bulldogs’ 11, but it was too little too late to make up the difference. Still, the Miners were feeling good about how they played and about how things might go in the rematch later in the season.
"We were really pleased with our efforts," said Cohen. "We think that’s a team we can play with."
Epperson led the Miners in a big way scoring 22 points in the loss. He said that after a tough game at Morgan a few days before, he decided he was ready to make a difference.
"I knew it was time," Epperson said. "I decided I’m not going to be down all year."
Behind him was Cohen, who had a breakout game, scoring 11 points.
"It’s the best I’ve played all season," said Cohen, beaming. "This is the first game I put everything together. I’ve been waiting for it to happen and it did."
One very noticeable difference this year was the size matchup. For the first time in at least six years the Bulldogs did not have a big man in the middle, and the Miners matched if not outmatched Judge at almost every position height-wise.
"It made a huge difference," Epperson said.
The Miners are also playing a more relaxed style than they did in the preseason. According to Cohen, the team has been focusing more on making plays when opportunities arise and that has helped them to play more smoothly.
"If we keep this up, I think things will be different," Cohen said.
Even though Park City didn’t win, Epperson said that it was the perfect way to start off the Region 10 schedule.
"It definitely showed us where we are and what our potential is," Epperson said.
The Miners will face Uintah on the road on Friday at 7 p.m.
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