Miner boys’ basketball starts season with a big win | ParkRecord.com

Miner boys’ basketball starts season with a big win

On the Park City High School boys’ basketball team’s first offensive possession of the 2014-15 season on Tuesday night, players were passing the ball around the perimeter. For a team that has had trouble scoring in the low post the past couple years since Ryan Sherman graduated, it didn’t look like a promising sign that the Miners weren’t able to get inside.

Of course, that turned out to be part of the plan.

After the Skyline defense was lulled to sleep, senior guard Reid Marks drove down the right side of the lane, drawing a couple Eagle defenders and launching what appeared to be an awkward, ill-advised shot attempt.

Of course, that was part of the plan, too.

As the ball sailed over the rim, senior forward Bosten Van Der Veur was there, leaping high above the basket, grabbing the ball and slamming it through the net for the game’s first points.

What wasn’t part of the plan was that Van Der Veur also drew a foul on the alley-oop. After he stepped to the line and knocked down the free throw, Park City had a 3-0 lead in what would ultimately be a 71-58 season-opening victory. Van Der Veur finished the game as the leading scorer, pouring in 32 points Tuesday night.

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The outcome wasn’t always certain for the Miners, though. The first quarter featured nine lead changes. There were two more in the second quarter before Park City finally started pulling away, taking a 34-25 advantage into the halftime break.

In the third quarter, Van Der Veur came out on fire, scoring the first 10 points for the Miners as they extended their lead to 13 points before holding on in the fourth quarter for the win.

"Obviously, it’s a huge luxury to have Bosten," Park City coach Caleb Fine said. "He’s big-time. It was a heck of an offensive performance. If he gets going, get out of his way."

"I was just in the zone," Van Der Veur added. "I’ve got to give it to my teammates – they’re helping me get open and giving me the ball. Sometimes that happens when you just feel it."

Picking up a victory against a 4A opponent to start the season was a big confidence booster for Park City, who lost to Skyline 55-41 in its first game last season.

"I think it says a lot about our team," Van Der Veur said. "This year, we have six seniors, but the difference is we all have a lot of good varsity experience. To come out and get this win against a really good Skyline team feels good."

That senior leadership and experience showed up on the stat sheet, as all six found ways to impact the game. Senior forward Sam Kingdon had 15 points and showed off why Fine considers him one of the most versatile players in the state.

"He knocked down three threes in the first half and hit a layup late," Fine said. "He’s a great passer for us, too. I really think he’s our best passer. He played great today."

Marks finished with 11 points, but Fine said he was even happier with his point guard’s ball security.

"He only had one turnover," he said. "He was awesome."

Logan Holbrook added four points, Beau Story had two and Adam Hutt added a late free throw to finish with one point. Junior Drew Fleming contributed six points off the bench.

Fine would like to see his seniors and bench players continue to play a big role in the offense, especially as teams begin to target Van Der Veur.

"It can’t be just Bosten and he’s got to get better, too, because the double teams are coming," he said. "It’s a team game, so we’ll continue to work on it."

Coming into the season, Fine said Park City needed bench players to step up. On Tuesday night, that started with Hutt.

"I was proud of the bench," he said. "Adam’s a captain and I challenged him to come off the bench because we needed someone to. What a leader to step up and take that role. He ripped down a couple big rebounds for us late. I got into him early for the way he was defending, but he totally made the adjustment.

"Drew can shoot it. That won’t be a surprise this year. Even Harrison Wakefield gave us a ton of energy. It’s still got to get better and we need another guy or two still, but, for game one, the bench did what we needed it to do."

But it’s still early, Fine said. The season is a marathon, not a sprint.

"We told them it’s the start of a journey," he said. "We challenged them at the beginning of this game to start the journey the right way. We haven’t arrived yet. We want to get better by Dec. 25, we want to get a heck of a lot better by Jan. 25 and we want to still be playing by Feb. 25."

Park City (1-0) will travel to Rockwell (0-1) on Wednesday, Dec. 3, for a 7 p.m. game. The Miners’ next home game is Friday, Dec. 5, when they host Highland at 7 p.m.