Miners honor seniors during Grantsville game
Park City hosts Senior Night for seven of its players
Park City High School girls’ basketball senior Montana Landis was dribbling toward the top of the key while her school hosted Grantsville on Thursday evening. Each dribble was another second off the clock, and she knew her time was running out. Landis took a quick glance at the basket, fired up a heave and banked in a three-pointer.
She jumped up and down and pumped her first as she made her way to the other end of the court. Her teammates followed suit and celebrated with her as the final buzzer sounded.
The three-pointer, however, wasn’t a game-winning shot, or even a game-tying one. As a matter of fact, the Miners found themselves on the losing end of the scoreboard, nearly doubled up by Region 10 champions Grantsville. The score: 83-42.
With the loss, the Miners finish their season 5-10. It was a blowout from the beginning, but for the Park City team, which celebrated its Senior Night, that didn’t matter.
“It’s a great group,” Park City Head Coach Same White said of the seniors. “They all came together. I was happy they got to play a lot [on Thursday] and kind of finish the way [they wanted]. Not score-wise, but chucking it up from half court and making bank shots. … It was kind of fun to end at home for once and have that opportunity.”
Leading the way for the Grantsville Cowboys was Rylie Ekins with 16 points, while Abby and Hannah Butler followed with 14 and 12 points, respectively.
The Miners were led by Landis with 14 points, while Hanna Greenholtz followed with 10. Jessica Perry finished with nine and Daneli Pena finished with seven, as the senior group combined for 40 of the team’s 42 points.
The seven seniors being honored were Perry, Landis, Pena, Greenholtz, Denise Zarate, Blythe Pettey and Gabi Snow. Each player, with family by their sides, was honored with gifts and a brief description of their days on the team and future plans prior to tipoff. They were given a signed basketball and flowers, among other small gifts by younger teammates, as most, if not all, of the players were emotional throughout the ceremony.
Even White got a little bit emotional in the locker room following the game, knowing it was the last one of the season, but he’s also a little more seasoned when it comes to dealing with these types of experiences.
“It was bittersweet,” White said. “They were probably expecting me to cry, but I’ve been doing this for nine years and you learn how not to cry and what not. But you still care about them. You still love them just as much as the very first group that you’re bawling your eyes out for. I care about these guys and I think about them a lot.”
The team feels is not defined by the number in the wins column. With just five wins to their name on the season, the Miners may not have been the most successful on the court, but they may be the closest off of it. The many hugs and emotional moments shared between the players and coaching staff before, during and after the game showed they share a deep connection.
“I think they’ve had to face some adversity,” White said. “We’ve had to have some tough conversations and you know, they’ve taught me a lot. I’ve hopefully taught them a couple of things and we’ve had to bond in certain ways.
“It’s unfortunate we didn’t perform better on the court at times, but I think they came together as a group by the end.”
With the season now ever and a group of seniors set to move on to the next chapter of their lives, White is excited to see what the younger players will bring to the team next season. As one season concludes, another offseason begins, and the Miners are already looking forward to next season.
“Some of the younger leaders are stepping up,” White said. “That’s a lot in part because they’ve seen what this group has done as far as leadership. They had a good example. That’s what we’re asking for, just to carry on the leadership.
“I think [the seniors have] done a good job of kind of passing that onto the younger group.”
The Youth Sports Alliance will host a team scramble golf tournament on June 3 at Victory Ranch in hopes of raising funds for its scholarships and youth programs.