Miners boys basketball falls to Bonneville Lakers 65-59 in overtime
Tuesday night’s high school boys basketball game between Park City and Bonneville was not for the faint of heart. Though the Lakers (now 9-4) eventually walked away with a 65-59 victory in the Park City gym, the Miners kept the game competitive throughout. The score flip-flopped throughout a game marked by drama and emotion.
“I saw a great effort by both teams,” said Mike Doleac, head coach of the Miners (now 5-7). “Defensively, I think we played really hard, did what we were supposed to do. It was a great game. Fun to coach.”
The game started with a straightforward first quarter that ended with the Miners leading 11-9, but gradually increased in intensity from there.
The Lakers took the lead for most of the second quarter until the Miners tied the game 17-17 with 3 minutes until half and Doleac called a timeout. When the game resumed, the Miners went on the offense.
Sophomore forward Adam Spink hit a 3, putting Park City up 20-17. Then junior forward Alex Fugate scored a layup, followed by another layup from junior forward Alex Obradovich to make the score 25-20.
Junior guard Nathan Lowe sank a 3, then the Lakers scored a last-second layup to make it 28-22 with the Miners leading at halftime.
Doleac said he told his team to “stay the course” over the timeout, and that philosophy carried throughout the tightly-contested game.
“They didn’t get rattled, a couple plays going (to Bonneville) didn’t affect us, didn’t have us turn south,” he said.
In the third, Park City went up 34-29 early. Then a big play from Lakers senior forward Hank Bushell started to shift the momentum for the Lakers.
Bushell broke away and drove to the net over Park City junior Mark McCurdy, who was called for a block on the play – though not without controversy. The referee’s decision had both benches shouting.
In the next plays, the Lakers drained back-to-back 3s to take the the lead, 37-34, and Bonneville eventually extended its lead to 43-36 with 30 seconds left in the third quarter.
Then, another contentious call: McCurdy stood ready to pass the ball in from under the Miners’ net after a Lakers score. Bonneville senior guard Zach Alspaugh swatted the ball out of McCurdy’s hands before the play had started. The referee saw what happened, and fouled the Laker for unsportsmanlike conduct.
The call infuriated Bonneville coach Kyle Bullinger, who shouted and gesticulated at the referee enough to draw a technical foul.
McCurdy took the free throw line to shouts and whistles, and, one after another, sank all four of the penalty shots, bringing the score to 43-40, Lakers, with 30 seconds left.
The Miners also gained possession of the ball from the technicals, and Obradovich fought to the rim for a field goal – 43-42, Lakers.
The Lakers got the ball with just five seconds left, but it was enough time to pass to Alspaugh, who sprinted down the court, and drained a buzzer-beater 3 on the run to extend the Lakers’ lead, 46-42 going into the fourth quarter.
The game remained close.
With one minute left in the game, Alspaugh hit another three for the Lakers, giving Bonneville the lead 54-53.
Then, McCurdy was fouled and hit both of his free throws. The Miners took the lead again.
With 8 seconds left, Bonneville’s sophomore guard Luke Dixon hit a 3, putting the Lakers ahead 55-57.
McCurdy, determined keep Park City in contention, sprinted up the court and slipped past the Lakers’ defense to throw up a last-ditch layup, tying the game 57-57, sending the crowd to its feet and the game into overtime.
But the Lakers dominated the next four minutes.
With 2:41 left, the teams were tied, 59-59, then the Miners’ shots stopped falling. The score climbed in favor of the visitors, 62-59, and, by the end of regulation, 65-59.
Over the course of the game, Bonneville’s Alspaugh sank six 3-pointers, hit one 2, and was three of four in free throws, scoring a total of 23 points. His teammates Bushell and junior forward DJ Frye scored 12 points each.
For the Miners, McCurdy went 11 of 13 from the line and hit four 2s and a 3. He scored 22 total points. Obradovich and Fugate scored 11 points each and Lowe scored nine.
Despite the loss, Fugate said the team was still “on the up-and-up.”
“Obviously, this was a hard loss, but it’s not too bad,” he said. “We played well. We’re still working on it.”
He said he was looking forward to playing at Juan Diego (13-1) away on Friday.
The Miners’ next home game is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan 23 against Tooele (6-9).
The Park City High School baseball team was knocked out of the Class 4A playoffs on May 15 when they lost to Bear River 8-6.