Park City suffers a winless weekend
The Miners struggled to add to the win column in basketball games over the weekend. Although, the tales of the losses tell two very different stories of the Miners teams as they finish out the preseason schedule. Southern swing
The Miners headed out on their annual swing to the southern part of the state over the weekend, taking on Dixie and Cedar on back-to-back nights. The girls lost to Dixie on the first night 40-35 and then to Cedar 42-29 on Saturday. Luckily, the continued drought meant little, as the girls were able to address some remaining issues before the start of Region play next month. Following a six-hour bus ride, the girls faced the 7-1 Flyers with the challenge of capturing team cohesiveness in their final road trip of the preseason. After relinquishing a sizable lead in a loss to Juan Diego last week, the Miners knew they had to address team focus when they hit the road this weekend. According to Park City assistant coach Matt Mapstone, the seniors were able to regain their composure in the southern games and the underclassmen willing followed their lead. "The seniors conducted themselves perfectly," Mapstone said. "They just missed a few shots." Those few shots, in the end, would cost the Miners the five-point win, but the Miners’ coaching staff was far more concerned that their team was finally executing as a strong team unit. The Miners actually led at halftime, but could not get shots to fall in the second. "It wasn’t for lack of effort," Mapstone said. "They responded perfectly for me." Senior Liz Bailey contributed 15 points in the game, but the team as a whole couldn’t overcome the southerners talent for stifling defense and scored only 15 points, collectively, in the second half. Still, Mapstone said the team played with emotion and heart and that was a victory in itself. The next night, The Miners faced Cedar, but a tough shooting night gave them a lopsided 42-29 loss. Mapstone said he was very satisfied with the team hustle, but again the Miners could not seem to get their shots to fall. Bailey and fellow senior Kim MacKaben combined for a dismal 3 for 26 in shooting and the Miners lost by 13, 42-29. Still, Mapstone said the team attitude a determination to play hard and as a team was still evident in the second game. Park City made the decision to start a taller line up to match Cedar’s two six-foot one-inch players. This meant that freshmen Nicole Bishop and Aundrea Hargroder received their first start of the season. "It’s just time. We’re getting the production out of them and its very evident how they are improving," Mapstone said. The change put three seniors and two freshmen out on the floor for much of the game, but Mapstone said they were able to play very effectively together. The girls were scheduled to play North Sanpete on Tuesday and them wrap up preregion play before New Year’s Day on Dec.30 when they host Logan at home at 7 p.m. Boys unable to capture win over weekend
The boys finished their weekend in similar fashion with two losses. Unable to find their first win of the season, the frustration level of team is at all-time high. After turning in two more close losses, head coach coach Troy Buford pointed to a lack of discipline as the culprit for the consistent dropping of close games.
On Friday, the loss of focus cost the Miners the game, losing to the Rowland Hall Winged Lions, 48-42.
"They didn’t respect their opponent and they hurried and did not play disciplined," Buford said.
The Miners shot out to the early 10-3 lead in the first half against the Winged Lions, but hurried play soon led to poor shot selection. Although the Miners were able to keep the game close, the Lions confident play finally earned them the win.
"They played with a lot of pride," Buford said.
The team pride of the Winged Lions eventually translated into a slight lead in the fourth quarter that the Miners simply couldn’t overcome. It was this passionate play that would ultimately hand Rowland Hall their eighth win of the season and send the Miners spiraling to yet another close loss.
"We’ve led three straight times and finished because of discipline," Buford said. "They needed to play with pride and they didn’t."
The woes continued into Monday night in a rescheduled game against West High in Salt Lake. Again the Miners managed to keep the game close until the fourth quarter, where turnovers and poor shot selections put the Miners in the deficit, and they lost 56-51. Buford again blamed the loss on discipline and the frustration that comes along with it.
"They lose discipline and try to do too much," Buford said.
Rather than play the consistent, balanced style of play that the Miners thrive under, the panic of the fourth quarter forced the Miners make to poor choices and led to a lack of team cohesion. Individual scrambling and rushed decisions cost the Miners three turnovers and two badly selected shots at the end of the West game. Buford said until the team realizes that the only way the Miners can win is to play a Miners brand of basketball, they will continue to give away game after game.
"As soon as they play their style, they will win," Buford said.
The Miners were scheduled to play Granite on Tuesday and finish the preseason on Dec. 30 at 7 p.m. at Carbon.
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