Back to back: PCHS wins again
Lecher leads Miners to second-straight victory
Losing 12 of the first 15 games, including an 11-game losing streak, can certainly take its toll on a high school sports team. It would be easy for players, especially seniors who won’t be around for the following year, to throw in the towel midway through the season.
Not the Park City High School boys’ basketball team, though.
The Miners found themselves in this exact situation to kick off the 2016-17 campaign, but they never folded. In fact, they’ve only played harder, and better, as the season has gone along.
They’ve improved to the point that Park City took down the visiting Stansbury Stallions on Wednesday evening 51-48, giving the team its second straight victory. This is the first time the Miners have won back-to-back games since the first week of December and the confidence continues to rise on this squad.
“It always feels better to win and come out on top,” PCHS Head Coach Mike Doleac said. “We needed this for a little bit to get some positive energy going. The guys played hard. They did enough to win. It wasn’t perfect, but they certainly did enough to win the game. I’m super happy for the guys.”
Leading the way for the Miners was Jack Lecher with 16 points, while the Zur twins, Collin and Spencer, combined for 15 points. But, to the surprise of many in the stands, none of those seniors were in the starting lineup at tip-off, as Doleac opted to go with a couple younger players on the squad.
This was the first time all season long that at least one member of the trio (Zur twins and Lecher) wasn’t named a starter, but that didn’t stop them from being key contributors throughout the game. They were especially effective in the fourth quarter, scoring 15 of the team’s 17 points in the frame.
“The lineup we started was not the best lineup we had to give us a chance to win, but it was what we needed to do,” Doleac said. “That’s how it was. I’m glad [Lecher and the Zurs] hung in there, mentally, accepted it and were able to finish the game strong.”
In recent games, Park City usually found itself playing catch up in the second half. It happened against Union, where the Miners fell short, and it happened against Tooele, but they pulled out a win.
Wednesday night, however, was a different story. Instead of playing catch up, the Miners held the lead for much of the game. They were the ones fending off the visiting team’s rally as the clock wound down. While there are still things to work on, this was a welcome change for the team.
“The one thing I noticed down the stretch is that we need to do a better job protecting that lead,” Doleac said. “I think we still need work on [protecting the lead], but to the kids’ credit, they were able to get it done.”
Next up for the Miners is an away game at Grantsville. The Cowboys are currently the Region 10 leaders with a 2-0 record in region play, making the Miners’ quest for three-straight wins a difficult one.
That said, Doleac and company don’t feel like underdogs. In fact, they’re heading into the contest confident.
“I think [Grantsville] may be the strongest team in our region right now,” Doleac said. “That’ll be a big challenge for us, especially going out to their place to play. It’ll make it even more so.
“It’s a great challenge, but I think we have every opportunity to win that game. There’s no reason we can’t.”
Tip off between PCHS and Grantsville is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 25.
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Skille will be the new director of player development for the Park City Ice Miners.