Miner girls improve to 2-0 in region
January 20, 2015
It’s been a nerve-racking start to the Region 10 season for the Park City High School girls’ basketball team, to say the least. But, through two games, the Miners are 2-0 in region play, the team’s best start in years.
On Friday night at PCHS, the Miners fell behind early and had to withstand a late rally by the Union Cougars, but managed to hold on for a 47-40 victory. Now the Miners have won their last four games and are showing they can win against Region 10 teams.
Park City Coach Sam White said he can’t remember the last time the Miners were playing so well.
"In the last seven years, [going 2-0 in region] hasn’t happened," he said. "This is the first time in a while we’ve strung together four straight wins, so it’s exciting. We’re super proud of the girls and how they’ve come together."
That said, both of the wins in Region 10 play have been dramatic. White said he’d like to see the Miners pick up some more convincing wins in the future.
"They scare the crap out of me," he laughed. "But they make it very entertaining for the fans."
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As the season continues and playoffs approach, White hopes these close games allow the Miners to be more comfortable in high-pressure situations.
"Hopefully they give us some confidence and remind us, ‘Hey, we know how to finish a game and we know how to close out,’" he said. "I’d like to close out better and make more free throws, but Jessica [Perry] stepped up big tonight and Rachel [Brothers] hit a couple big free throws and Madeline [Komisar] hit two at the very, very end that were big."
Hanna Shluker led the way for Park City with 12 points on Friday night. Brothers also finished in double digits, scoring 11 points. Perry and Marina Mayo each had six points, Lirio Sanchez and Komisar added five each and Lexi Fulton had two points.
Playing in front of a packed gym of fans catching both the girls’ and boys’ games on Friday night was a new experience, White said. But, he added, it seemed to give the Miners some energy.
"It’s a little nerve-racking when, all of a sudden, the gym is packed," he said. "We’ve never had that before. It’s more fun, though — I like it and I hope the girls like it. Deep down, I think they enjoy it. That’s why they’ve been working so hard — to try to get a fan base and get people coming to the games."
In addition to the packed gym, the Miners had another reason to play hard on Friday night.
"The girls were determined to win," White said. "It was Coach Tracey [Kasel]’s last game for the year. The girls decided they weren’t going to lose for Coach T’s last game. That was a little extra motivation."
After a sloppy game against Uintah last Tuesday, White said the Miners definitely took a step in the right direction on Friday. But, he added, there’s still plenty of work left to do if they want to compete for the second spot in Region 10.
"It was a little bit cleaner," he said. "Our shot selection was a little bit rough and we gave up way too many points on defense on easy buckets and stuff like that, though."
On Tuesday, after this issue went to press, the Miners were scheduled to host Morgan in a game that could decide which squad will have the inside track on Region 10’s No. 2 seed in the playoffs. (Juan Diego is the consensus favorite to win the region.)
"We’ll prepare on Monday and give them everything we’ve got," White said, adding that it’s important to defend the home court to put pressure on the Trojans when Park City visits on Feb. 6. "It’s always intimidating going into their place because they’ve got a huge crowd and they’ve been on top for a while. [Winning at home] would be very, very nice. That No. 2 spot, I don’t want to say it’s wide open, but if we can give Morgan a run for their money, that would be great. I’d love to have a home playoff game."
Park City (6-5 overall, 2-0 in Region 10) travels to Juan Diego (15-0, 2-0) on Friday night to take on the Soaring Eagle. The game is scheduled to tip off at 7 p.m.