Miners boys’ basketball team outlasts Ben Lomond
After scoring only five points in the third quarter of a 62-49 road loss on Tuesday night at Payson, the Park City High School boys’ basketball team once again struggled to find the bottom of the net in Wednesday night’s home game against Ben Lomond.
The Miners once again managed to score only five points in the third quarter, but this time the results were different en route to a 39-29 victory.
On a night when there were enough bricks to build a house big enough for a family of four, junior center Beau Story was one of the lone bright spots, scoring 14 points to help Park City improve to 2-3 on the young season.
"Tonight, we weren’t playing quite as strong of an offensive team, fortunately," Park City coach Caleb Fine said. "And we did a better job of staying on the help side defensively. As ugly as we were, I guess they were just a little bit uglier, thankfully. But we can’t just continue to score five points in a quarter and win."
Thanks to an unusual defensive scheme, Ben Lomond was able to hold Park City’s leading scorer, junior guard Bosten Van Der Veur, to his worst offensive performance of the season. After amassing point totals of 19, 23, 20 and 21 in Park City’s first four games, the Scots held Van Der Veur to just 11 points on Wednesday night.
"They made it difficult on us, playing a box and one against Bosten," Fine said. "We struggled to adjust, we weren’t making shots and we weren’t making free throws, which was disappointing. But we found a way, and Beau Story really stepped up."
Story did indeed step up. His career-high 14 points led Park City in the victory.
"I’m really proud of Beau, especially in the second half," Fine said. "He took a bit of an ill-advised shot early in the third quarter, but from then on, he was awesome. He wants nothing more than to help the team. We needed someone to put the ball in the hole tonight, and he did that."
Against Ben Lomond senior center Anthony Hurtado, who is listed at 6’8" on the Scots’ roster, Story, who measures in at 6’5", said the offensive effort wasn’t easy.
"He was tall, so there were a couple times where he could have stuffed me, but they called fouls," he said. "But you just have to keep going into him."
Story took advantage of the free throws he earned, scoring six of his 14 points from the charity stripe.
Behind Van Der Veur and Story, it was a rough night for the Miners. Junior guards Logan Holbrook and Reid Marks had five and four points, respectively, senior guard Tom Wood chipped in three points and junior forward Adam Hutt picked up two points.
"To [Ben Lomond] coach [Ryan] Wilcox’s credit, he put together something we hadn’t seen," Fine said. "It’s a funky defense, but it gave them a chance to win, especially when we shot as poorly as we did tonight."
But, Fine observed, the Miners’ increasing efforts on the glass continue to put the team in a good position at the end of the game.
"We rebounded a lot better against North Sanpete, rebounded well against Ben Lomond and, when we were ahead against Payson for most of the game, we rebounded well," he said. "[Senior forward] Konnor [Andersen]’s really starting to assert himself on the boards. He’s not tall, but he’s stronger than you are and he plays hard."
And Andersen’s teammates are following his lead.
"Beau and Adam are doing a better job and our guards are rebounding a little bit, too," Fine said. "As long as we continue to do that, it will continue to give us a chance to win, even if it’s ugly."
Fine said the team will continue working on defensive rotations and assignments in addition to shooting drills. He said practices won’t be too strenuous until the Miners get a break in their schedule.
"We’re going to get some shots up and get these boys’ legs rested," he said. "Because [Friday] will be our third game in four days."
Friday’s game against 4A Taylorsville (after this issue went to press), marked the third game of the year that the Miners have played schools from 4A. Though the first two 4A teams (Skyline and Springville) gave the Miners trouble, Fine said the tough schedule will help the young Miners grow in time for the Region 10 season.
But, as Story noted, the game of basketball really is simple.
"If you don’t score buckets, you don’t win games," he said.
The Miners will play at the Provo Tip-Off Classic on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. They’ll return home on Monday, Dec. 30, after a road game at South Summit on Saturday, Dec. 28. Monday’s game tips off at 6 p.m.
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The soccer tournaments run from July 29 through July 31.