Miners aim for Region title
Last year, the Park City High School basketball team faced several question marks in terms of guard play how would newcomers like Bosten Van Der Veur, Tom Wood and Sam Kingdon handle the varsity level alongside seniors Ryan Sherman and Hayden Daily?
This year, with Sherman and Daily gone, the question marks have reversed how will senior Konnor Andersen handle an increased post role and who else will step up in the paint?
"We’re flip-flopping our issues a little bit," PCHS coach Caleb Fine said. "We’re going to need young kids to step up because we’re going to miss a lot of Ryan’s rebounding and post presence. And Hayden could flat-out shoot it. And he was able to play inside he took more charges than anyone in the history of Park City High School."
Andersen, who served as the team’s sixth man last year during the 9-14 campaign, and Kingdon will be counted on to replace some of Sherman and Daily’s production, but Fine said replacing the two seniors will be a total team effort.
"So far, we don’t have one or two people to replace them," he said. "But, hopefully, we’ve got a coalition of six or seven people to replace them this year."
Fortunately for the Miners, they’ll have three starters returning to the squad Van Der Veur, Kingdon and Wood. With Andersen poised to step into the starting lineup, Fine is counting on experience to help carry Park City through the early part of its schedule.
"This year is interesting because we’re still very young," he said. "We have more experience coming back, though. Last year, all five guys were new [to the starting lineup]. This year, there are only two seniors [Andersen and Wood] on the squad and three returning starters."
Fine is excited about the potential his seniors have shown in practice so far, though.
"I think they have chances to be incredible leaders," he said. "If they can be leaders, we’ll be in great shape Konnor has the chance to be one of the best we’ve ever had. He’s not afraid to be vocal and communicate and he plays hard. He also knows his strengths and weaknesses. He’s not here saying he needs to score 25 points [a game] this year. He’s not even saying he needs to start as a senior, but what he is saying is that we need to win. He goes about it the right way more often than not. He’s got his areas of flaws, but he plays hard and isn’t afraid to communicate. He’s been blessed with a big mouth, and he uses it."
Outside of one 20+ point game last season, Wood struggled shooting the ball at times. But Fine says he’s seen improvement from the senior this offseason.
"Tom has gotten better he’s shooting the ball a little bit more consistently," he said. "Being a year older makes a big difference. And he’s just a quality kid. You’d take 20 of him if you could have them because he gets it done academically first. He’s a quality young man and a good basketball player."
Though the seniors are ready to step up and be leaders, it’s no secret that the Miners’ offense runs through Van Der Veur. Fine hopes his point guard takes the next step after an excellent sophomore season.
"Bosten was also a captain last year and he’s worked extremely hard this offseason," he said. "He’s definitely led by example as far as what he’s done. Bosten has the chance to have a big-time year, but he’s got to let the game come to him and he can’t be a black hole with the basketball."
Chicago-area transfer Reid Marks, a junior, will help give the backcourt some depth. Also coming off the bench will be juniors Adam Hutt, Logan Holbrook and Beau Story.
"The combination of Bosten and our new move-in Reid gives us the potential to have one of the best guard tandems in 3A," Fine said. "We’re not the best, or even one of the best, yet, but we have a group of two kids and some other guards around them that can end up, if they continue to work hard and learn how to play together and defend, being really good."
Fine thinks this year’s Miner squad has the chance to surprise people around the state.
"Last year, we wanted to bring back a banner, and I think that’s going to be a consistent goal," he said. "We’re not going to be the favorites in our region there will be more talented teams but this group has a chance to be one of the hardest-working and we have the tools to really compete if we come together. I want nothing less than a region championship. We’re going to set lofty goals and try to achieve them. It won’t be easy, but I want a region championship."
Park City’s season begins on Nov. 26 at Skyline.
On Nov. 21, the PCHS boys’ basketball team will have a fundraiser at the Park City McDonalds from 6-8 p.m. Half of all dine-in sales (drive-thru sales not included) will go directly to the boys’ basketball program.
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Park City is the lone undefeated team in Region 10 play after a 60-30 win over Mountain View. The Miners have three more region games in their quest to repeat as region champions.