Miner boys’ basketball holds off Wildcats
The Park City Classic basketball tournament kicked off on Friday night at Park City High School, featuring four games in two days among PCHS, South Summit, North Summit and Union. On Friday night, the Miners took on the Wildcats in front of a packed gym with county bragging rights on the line.
Last year, South Summit defeated Park City in Kamas, 52-45. On Friday, in Park City, the Miners were determined not to let that happen again.
After a back-and-forth first half, the Miners used a big third quarter to pull away from the Wildcats, picking up a 63-53 win and improving to 4-1 on the season.
Park City Coach Caleb Fine said that, while the offense played well on Friday, he was most pleased with the Miners’ defense.
"The biggest positive tonight was our defensive intensity all the way through," he said. "We rebounded better. It wasn’t perfect, but it was a lot better. That’s a step."
Also, he added, Park City did a much better job protecting a lead than it did earlier in the week against Summit Academy.
"At the end of the game, we didn’t make our free throws, but we didn’t turn the ball over like we did in the prior game," he said. "I was really pleased to see that. It’s really hard for a team to come back when you don’t turn the ball over."
Senior Bosten Van Der Veur continued his great start to the season, leading Park City with 27 points. Behind him, the scoring was fairly balanced, with Reid Marks (10 points) the only other Miner to reach double figures.
"Bosten continues to be an animal," Fine said. "But other guys contributed. Some guys had some good looks and they didn’t drop, but a lot of guys had a lot of good looks and we put enough points on the board. Any time you score over 60 points, which we’ve been doing on a consistent basis, it makes you tough to beat."
Leading the way for the Wildcats was sophomore Kaden Atkinson with 12 points. Jason Griffin, South Summit’s leading scorer, had a rough night from the floor, finishing with only seven points.
"Griffin was sick — he’s had the flu," South Summit Coach Dusty Hatch said. "He’s averaging 22 or something like that, so that wasn’t good for us."
But, Hatch added, he’s pleased with the way Atkinson and fellow sophomore Nic Beasley played on Friday night.
"The younger kids, the sophomores who came in, played well," he said. "Our high point guy was Kaden Atkinson. He really stepped up. They kept us in the game."
Hatch said the Wildcats will learn from the loss and move on. But, he added, it’s always good to play a quality opponent like Park City.
"This is probably the toughest team we’re going to play in the preseason," he said. "This is a good team. Park City should be fired up over this team because they’re really good. They’re quick, they shoot the ball well, they’ve got size and they get you up and down the floor."
South Summit fell to 2-4 on the season with the loss. On Saturday night, the Wildcats dropped a heartbreaker to Union, 50-49. Bracken Santos had 16 points to lead South Summit, now 2-5, in the loss.
South Summit will return to the court this weekend, when it heads to Preston, Idaho, for a tournament that runs Thursday through Saturday. The Wildcats return home on Friday, Jan. 2, when they host Duchesne at 7 p.m.
The Youth Sports Alliance will host a team scramble golf tournament on June 3 at Victory Ranch in hopes of raising funds for its scholarships and youth programs.