Miner girls’ basketball team to focus on ball control
November 18, 2014
Two years ago, the Park City High School girls’ basketball team featured Carson Lyman, one of the best post players in the state. Oftentimes, the Miners’ offense would consist of crossing half court, getting the ball to Lyman and watching her go to work.
Last year, after Lyman graduated, Park City coach Sam White decided to shift his team’s offensive philosophy to more of a run-and-gun style. Year one under the new system had mixed results the Miners were just as likely to score 50 points as they were to score 30.
One of the main reasons for that was that Park City, which finished with a record of 5-14 last season, simply committed too many turnovers.
But, White said, growing pains were to be expected with such a radical shift in offensive schemes. This year, the Miners are expected to step up.
"We’ve still got the speed that looked good at times last year," he said. "But there were times when it was just too fast. We left too many points on the floor we’d get fast breaks and we’d miss layups."
To cut down on turnovers, White, who is also an assistant coach for the PCHS football team, is emphasizing ball-handling skills through football-related drills. He compared passing drills to receiving drills, emphasizing two-handed catches, and likened defensive drills to pass-coverage drills, with players reading opponents’ routes and intercepting the ball.
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"We’re trying to increase other teams’ turnovers while decreasing our own," he said. "We’re not going to be reaching for the ball with one hand or making crappy passes. We’re going hard and we’re going to catch the ball and take care of the ball."
After losing post player Sabrina Prior to graduation, new center Rachel Brothers is going to be counted on heavily this year. White thinks she’ll fit in well with the Miners’ system.
"She’s probably the fastest post player in the state," he said. "If we can get her in transition, they’ll have to worry about a 6’2" girl running full speed at them. She’s also very strong and has great touch inside."
The biggest worry is Brothers’ defense. Last year, if Prior got in foul trouble, Brothers could come in for a few minutes and Park City would be fine. Now Brothers is the starter and the Miners don’t have another dominant post player to bring off the bench.
"We’re working with Rachel on that," White said. "It’s going to be a big concern. You can be seven feet tall, but if you foul five times, you’re going to be on the bench. Our focus is to get her to play not softer defense, but smarter defense."
On the perimeter, White is expecting big things from a pair of guards, Lirio Sanchez and Marina Mayo.
"Lirio and Mayo, I’m looking for them to play tenacious D on everybody," he said. "The two of them are going to have fun with that. We’re going to put Mayo on whoever is having a great night."
Offensively, White is counting on senior Hanna Shluker to be the outside threat to complement Brothers’ inside scoring.
"She’s a senior, so she has 60 games of varsity experience under her belt, which is awesome," he said. "She’s a shooter."
From there, junior Madeline Komisar and sophomore Jessica Perry will be asked to pick up their scoring efforts as well.
"Madeline, if she gets hot, she can carry the team for a while," White said. "And Jessica really stepped up huge as a freshman last year."
Schedule-wise, the Miners will look to take advantage of a Region 10 slate that features three new coaches.
"Juan Diego, Union and Morgan got new coaches," White said. "We want to try to take advantage of those new coaches, new styles and new programs. We want to compete in every single game. We don’t want to get blown out by Morgan and we don’t want to get blown out by Juan Diego."
The Miners will take the court on Tuesday, Nov. 25, at Hillcrest for their season opener. Park City will host its first home game of the year on Tuesday, Dec. 2, when Grantsville comes to town. That game is scheduled to tip off at 7 p.m.
PCHS Girls’ Basketball Schedule
Nov. 25 at Hillcrest 7 p.m.
Dec. 2 vs. Grantsville 7 p.m.
Dec. 4 vs. Jordan 7 p.m.
Dec. 11 vs. Provo 5 p.m.
Dec. 12 at Wasatch 7 p.m.
Dec. 16 vs. Pleasant Grove 7 p.m.
Dec. 18 at Stansbury 7 p.m.
Jan. 6 vs. Ben Lomond 7 p.m.
Jan. 8 vs. Payson 7 p.m.
Jan. 13 vs. Uintah 7 p.m.
Jan. 16 vs. Union 7 p.m.
Jan. 20 vs. Morgan 5:15 p.m.
Jan. 23 at Juan Diego 7 p.m.
Jan. 30 at Uintah 7 p.m.
Feb. 3 at Union 7 p.m.
Feb. 6 at Morgan 5:15 p.m.
Feb. 10 vs. Juan Diego 7 p.m.
Feb. 12 at Juab 7 p.m.