Miners boys’ basketball eliminated from playoffs
Friday night’s game between the Park City High School boys’ basketball team and Ben Lomond at in Ogden was a tight defensive battle through the first three quarters of play. Heading into the final eight minutes, Ben Lomond held a 31-30 lead.
But the fourth quarter was a different story — though the Miners scored 16 points, which was their highest total for the game, the Scots exploded for 26 points to earn a 57-46 victory and advance to the next round of the 3A playoffs.
A low field-goal percentage plagued the Miners all night long, as Park City would finish the game making only 14 of 50 shot attempts.
Park City Coach Caleb Fine said the cold shooting night was puzzling, adding that the Miners got several good-looking shot attempts despite Ben Lomond’s strong defense.
"This team has made shots all year and we just didn’t make enough Friday," he said. "We had some looks and they didn’t fall. Give Ben Lomond credit — they took advantage."
Defensively, Fine said he was generally happy with Park City’s defensive effort. Though there were a couple defensive letdowns late in the game, scoring 46 points wasn’t going to cut it on the offensive end.
"It was a defensive battle," he said. "I was proud of our guys’ effort. Unfortunately, in the fourth quarter, we had a few defensive lapses and then we just didn’t make enough shots."
Seniors Bosten Van Der Veur and Reid Marks led the way for Park City, scoring 21 and 17 points, respectively. Marks hit five three-pointers to account for 15 of his 17 points.
But, beyond Van Der Veur and Marks, the Miners didn’t get the offensive balance they’ve enjoyed all year long. Drew Fleming had four points and Sam Kingdon and Harrison Wakefield each had two to account for the rest of Park City’s scoring.
"That definitely did not bode well for us," Fine said. "Reid and Bosten played very well. Other guys who were able to give us buckets all year long didn’t see them fall on Friday night. It was tough — only getting eight points from the rest of the team is something we’re not used to."
After finishing the regular season with a 15-7 record, losing in the first round of the playoff wasn’t what the Miners were expecting. Fine said it was especially tough on Van Der Veur, Marks, Kingdon, Beau Story, Adam Hutt and Logan Holbrook — the team’s six seniors.
"It was a very tough locker room after the game," he said. "We had lofty goals. Any time you fall short and the season ends so abruptly, it’s hard."
Fine said he’ll miss the six seniors and everything they’ve done for the Park City program.
"I have been blessed to coach a lot of talented kids over the six years I’ve been here," he said. "This group continued to grow and worked very hard for us. They were coachable and I think they enjoyed playing together. I’m going to miss their competitive nature. They’re all so unique. When it’s over, you kind of wish you had one more bus trip with them."
Van Der Veur, in particular, stood out as one of the best basketball players in the state this year. He finished his PCHS career with more than 1,100 points scored.
"I truly believe he’s one of the best basketball players Park City High School has ever seen," Fine said. "He had a pretty incredible career here. He was a big-time player and a lot of fun to coach."
Next year’s team will have some big shoes to fill in trying to replace this year’s group of seniors. Fine said expectations will be a little different, but he’s excited for the challenge a new year presents.
"Next year, it’s not going to be just one guy or three guys — it’s really going to be a collaborative effort to be good in the coming years," he said. "I’m excited they get such an opportunity to compete for spots. We have five starting spots open and we’ll need to replace six major contributors. I’m excited to see this group compete and improve and continue the journey these six seniors started these younger kids on."
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Pelosi spent four years in Liverpool’s youth academy before a brief stint in the MLS.