Park City ends season at Judge
The Park City High School boys basketball team headed to the valley Friday night to face Judge with a plan and a prayer.
They were without the help of head coach Matt Nagel who was leading his other squad, the Miners’ debate team, at an invitational in California. In his absence, he left the team with a scheme he hoped would stop or at least slow the Bulldog’s relentless scoring attack. The plan worked for one quarter, but in the end Judge pushed their way to yet another unbeaten season in Region 10, winning easily, 82-47.
In the first quarter, the Miners tried to keep themselves in the game with a run-and-gun type offense where they attempted to get the shot off before the Bulldogs could set up. Judge’s guards quickly responded, but poor shooting from the Bulldogs kept Park City in the game, and the quarter ended with the Bulldogs leading by only one, 8-7. the middle of the second quarter, the Miners caught up to the Bulldogs, but assertive play by Judge’s standout guard Jaxon Myaer as halftime neared, helped the Bulldogs to pull ahead 29-22.
Then, the Bulldogs reminded the entire gymnasium why they are the defending 3A State Champions. Park City was able to keep within about 10 points of the Bulldogs until the last two minutes of the third quarter, when the strength, speed and height of Bulldogs started dominating the tired Miners.
The sure-handed Myaer led the Bulldogs with 26 points. The undersized Miners struggled to contain the six-foot eight-inch Noel Hollingsworth, who used his superior height in the second half to score underneath the basket at will, compiling 22 points and 12 rebounds by the end of the game.
"We have no answer for him," said assistant coach Ed Potts.
Strong-armed play from Dominic Parker and Cort Dennison helped the Bulldogs control the boards. In the meantime, the Miners got in some foul trouble and the key players started wearing down, eventually leading to the lopsided 82-47 loss. Senior Lucas Tucker led the team with 15 points.
"In a 10-minute swing, we went from being down 10 to losing by 40," said Potts.
He said that depth and ability to quickly change up their game strategy helped Judge to respond to the offensive plans.
"They shift gears and we don’t have that in our system," Potts said. "They’ve got a good, solid program."
He went on to say that with their talent he fully expects them to repeat last year’s postseason success.
"They are a very focused team. I’m going to be their biggest supporter and defender because of this," Potts said. "It shows how good Region 10 is."
The Miners finished the regular season in a three-way tie with Morgan and Uintah for the fourth place and final playoff spot. Park City athletic director Doug Payne told Nagel Monday afternoon that a predetermined record rule put Uintah into the playoffs. With a shot at the post-season dissolved, Nagel was irritated by the news.
"That frustrates me, because we are by every standard equal with them," Nagel said.
Still, Nagel, the coach who is just weeks into his first head coaching stint, is proud of the monumental steps the Miners took in two months and is looking to start building for next year.
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