Miners struggle against big Hillcrest lineup
As the adage goes, "Go big or go home." The Park City High School girls’ basketball team did a little of both Thursday facing the largest lineup they’ve seen this season and going home with a disappointing 60-43 loss to 5A Hillcrest High.
The Huskies, who feature a roster with nine girls over 5 feet 9 inches and three at 6 feet 1 inch, showed the Miners a little something they hadn’t seen before a lot of height and a whole lot of muscle. With the Huskies’ imposing size and ability to block the Miners from the basket, it took a while for Park City to adjust and figure out how to handle Hillcrest.
"There were some pretty solid players and we weren’t used to it," said Park City forward Carson Lyman. "We are used to dominating the post."
The Huskies quickly ran up the score in the first quarter and continued to use their size and trapping defense to keep Park City away from the basket.
"We needed some more muscle. Some more help down low," Lyman said.
The Miners were stuck shooting mostly from the perimeter and had trouble hitting their outside shots. By the end of the first half, Hillcrest led 29-14.
In the second half, though, the Miners were able to figure out how use their speed to overcome Hillcrest’s height. That, combined with Park City’s own height and strength found in Lyman and center Sabrina Prior, allowed the Miners to slowly put themselves back in the game. The Miners pushed through the Huskies’ trap and shots started falling.
"The girls figured out how to do it," said Park City assistant coach Tracey Kasel, who led the Miners in place of head coach Sam White, who did not travel with the team due to illness. "They started realizing what they needed to do."
Lyman finished the night with 19 points and Prior was close behind with 16 points of her own.
The six-foot-tall Prior was one Park City player who actually seemed more comfortable playing Hillcrest’s big lineup than against smaller teams.
"I love playing against the bigger girls," she said.
Her comfort and confidence showed as she hit multiple shots, especially in the second half, where she said the whole team felt more connected and focused.
Kasel called it a turning point for Prior.
"She finally found the confidence to shoot," he said. "I feel good for her."
Earlier in the week, the Miners added one in the win column in a Tuesday road game at Tooele, narrowly beating the Buffaloes 43-42. Lyman had another big night with 22 points and grabbed almost as many boards as points with 21 rebounds. Hannah Shluker contributed 10 points.
Park City will have another chance to continue to build on their experience next week when they host their last game before Christmas break against Juab Tuesday at 7 p.m.
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