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Miners struggle against Logan, East

Turns out Park City High School head basketball coach Jim Boyce was learning a lot when he helped out with the Miners’ football team this fall.

Much like the football team, the boys’ basketball squad has a preseason schedule stocked with strong teams that have given the team trouble early on. But the football team overcame the tough early losses to win the Region 10 title. So, Boyce is hoping that if the boys can mirror the Miners’ football season in the same way, then they too can do well in region play.

"You get all that out of the way in preseason," Boyce said.

The boys lost Wednesday to Logan 69-51 and again on Friday to East 53-32. Boyce said that Logan was a little too overpowering with a roster full of strong athletes. The Miners were plagued by turnovers and didn’t really get into a rhythm until the final quarter.

"We would have to play really well to beat these guys," he said.

But against East, he felt that the Miners could have fared a lot better.

"I was a little disappointed," Boyce said. "The effort was the main thing."

Where he thought the effort could have been kicked up a notch especially was on the defensive end, where the Miners struggled to get back in transition.

"I realized they were playing very tired," he said.

Boyce breaks down shot selection into four categories with the coveted fourth one being a layup. Three is an uncontested shot within the Park City offense. Two represents a contested shot within the Miners offense and the lowly one is a contested shot out of their offense. Boyce said against East the boys were shooting a lot of ones and twos.

"Our short selection wasn’t very good," he said,

Despite the losses, Park City senior Tony Epperson still seemed turn in a winning performance, scoring 17 points against Logan and 13 against East, Epperson showing he is one of the team leaders.

"He’s very, very consistent," Boyce said. "He’s just a great, young kid."

Epperson is also measures the tallest player on the Park City team at six-feet four-inches, with Taylor Sibbits just behind him at six-feet three-inches. That makes it difficult against teams with taller men in the middle, but Boyce said that Epperson’s athleticism, strength and quickness make him a great defender as well something the Miners need against these tough and talented schools.

Boyce made the decision to schedule hard 3A, 4A and even 5A schools in the preseason to help guide the team where he wants it to go. He admits such a tough preseason schedule has its drawbacks.

"The downside is, if you lose, you might get into a perpetual rut," he said. "It’s hard not to get caught up in the wins and losses. You just try to improve and play as hard as you can. The only thing that matters is region."

And so he continues to ask the boys to play as hard as they can all the time, and hopes that things will pick for the team this week.

After the East loss, Boyce treated the boys to a long Saturday practice where he encouraged them to play in a strong and prepared manner.

Boyce is hoping to rally the team for two home games this week against Ogden on Wednesday and Manti on Friday.

"If we better our defense and shot selection I think we’ll be a pretty good basketball team,’" he said.


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