Miners basketball starts season with a sophomore showcase
The Park City High School Miners beat Taylorsville High School, 65-48, on Tuesday. It was a solid start for a team that has not dazzled in recent seasons. Though it’s still unclear what level of play the Miners will compete at, Coach Mike Doleac said Tuesday’s game was a good start for what could be a competitive team.
So far, the Miners’ defining feature is its skillful underclassmen players. Doleac said that because of the team’s youth, task No. 1 is establishing an ethos that focuses on unselfish play.
“As young as we are, I think that’s the biggest thing is to buy into everyone doing their job and trying to be there to support their teammates and be there for each other’s success instead of their own success,” he said.
The team recently voted senior Chase Preston and junior Landen Brenish as captains. Both are point guards. So far, Doleac said the two have done well.
“It’s a challenge for both of them because they are battling each other for minutes,” he said. “I’m really happy with how they are pushing each other, trying to get better, trying to fight for those minutes but still supporting each other.”
Doleac also mentioned sophomore Nathan Lowe, also a guard.
“I think Nate’s showing a ton of leadership just by how he plays,” Doleac said. “He’s not a vocal leader but he’s really doing everything I ask him to do and I love that.”
This season will be different from the last in that Doleac will be focusing on building a team rather than playing seniors. He said last year he picked nine seniors for the team, which was a mistake.
“I kept nine and you can’t even play nine guys,” he said. “So when you have seniors on the team that aren’t playing, it’s hard for them to stay focused.”
Doleac sees the team’s future coming from its strength across classes, though the sophomores in particular seem crucial.
In Tuesday’s game, the top four scorers were all sophomores.
Mark McCurdy led with 20 points followed by Lowe with 15, while Alex Obradovich and Ben Hase each had 10.
Brenish has six and senior Chase Preston had three. Preston and Victor Casarrubias are the sole representatives of the Class of 2018 this season, and Doleac said they played well on Tuesday.
As for a season-long strategy, Doleac said he wants the team to focus on being tougher and more defensively aggressive in each game.
“If we accomplish those two things then we will be a very, very good team and will be in the run for our region,” he said.
To be a true region contender, the Miners will have to reckon with Juan Diego, which won state last season.
“They are very good,” Doleac said. “I think they will be the team to beat so we will come out gunning for them.”
The Miners’ next game is against the Wasatch Wasps in Heber on Dec. 1.
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It’s been a rough season for Park City, but a taste of the postseason could pay huge dividends in the future.