Miner boys hold off Trojans
January 23, 2015
When the Park City High School boys’ basketball team went into halftime of Friday’s home game against Morgan leading 41-25, it looked as though a rout was on and the Miners would cruise to victory.
However, following intermission, the Trojans stormed back, tightening their defense and hitting a few big shots to cut the Park City lead to under five points before the Miners got it together and held on for a 62-55 victory.
Despite letting a big lead slip away for the second-straight game, the Miners are 3-0 in Region 10 play, which Coach Caleb Fine said is the most important thing for Park City.
"There are a lot of things we clearly have to do better," he said. "But — and it’s a huge but — we are jacked to be where we are, 3-0, finding a way to protect our home court."
Plus, he added, though Morgan lost a few seniors from last year’s team, the Trojans are no slouches on the court.
"Those are the defending 3A champs," he said. "We missed some shots, didn’t play our best game and still found a way to win. I’m extremely proud of the boys and I’m very pleased with where we are in region standings."
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The Miners were able to hold off a Trojan charge late because of some fantastic free-throw shooting. After the halfway point of the fourth quarter, the Miners were 9-for-12 from the free-throw stripe to seal the win.
"It’s huge that Adam [Hutt], Reid [Marks] and Bosten [Van Der Veur] all stepped up and made free throws," Fine said. "That game was close there for a while. I didn’t think it was supposed to be that close, but it was, and the reason we were able to win comfortably by the end is because every time we got fouled, we were stepping up and knocking down free throws."
Still, Fine and the rest of the coaching staff would like to see Park City stop giving away big first-half leads moving forward. After letting Morgan back into the game on Friday night and after seeing a 31-17 lead over Union last Tuesday brought back to single digits in the fourth quarter, the Miners need to develop a killer instinct late in games.
"There’s definitely some concern from the coaching staff," Fine said. "We’ll look at the film, but I think it’s a mentality reality. We’ve got to make sure we approach the second half, and even the second quarter, with the same intensity we approach the first quarter.
"Our last two first quarters have been as good as it gets. From that point forward, it’s average basketball. In both situations, it’s become a close game because of it. But the group of seniors stepped up tonight, did their jobs and found a way to win."
Bosten Van Der Veur led the Miners with a game-high 21 points and also snagged eight rebounds. Reid Marks scored 12 points, had nine boards and dished out five assists. Sam Kingdon scored 10 points, Adam Hutt had eight, Drew Fleming added five and Logan Holbrook and Beau Story each had three.
Now Park City (13-4 overall, 3-0 in Region 10) will hit the road until Feb. 10, playing four straight Region 10 away games. The Miners’ first test was scheduled for Friday night at Juan Diego (12-4, 2-0). Fine said the Soaring Eagle would be one of Park City’s biggest challenges yet.
"We’ve got to be road warriors," he said. "We’ve got an incredibly tough one against what I believe is one of the best teams in 3A on Friday night. I believe we belong up there with them, but if we play anything but ‘A’ basketball, it will be a long night. They got us by 30 at their place last year."
From there, Park City visits Uintah on Jan. 30, Union on Feb. 3 and Morgan on Feb. 7. If the Miners want to be in contention for a region title on Feb. 10 at home against Juan Diego on Senior Night, Fine said they’ll have to come together in adverse situations.
"We’re going to have to withstand rallies, stay together and focus on each other, not the refs, not the fans," he said. "If guys want to be together on the road, it’s going to be a very fun and challenging stretch for us."
The Miners’ last home game of the season is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 10, at 7 p.m. Park City will take on Juan Diego at PCHS.
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