Miners look to restyle team
Last year’s Park City High School girls’ basketball team was hard to watch at times last season even head coach Sam White admits that.
But with a talented player like Carson Lyman dominating the boards and providing the Miners’ only real scoring threat, a plodding, methodical pace was the best way to give Park City a chance at a victory.
"Last year was the year of the stall," White said. "We only had four or five players so we really had to stall it out. It wasn’t that exciting to watch, but we were close to beating Juan Diego and we ended up beating Judge that was probably one of the best games I’ve ever been a part of."
This year, expect the complete opposite from the Miners plenty of substitutions and lots of running.
"We’ve got eight or nine girls that can put the ball in the hoop this year, so teams are going to have to honor that," White said. "Last year, teams were able to double- or triple-team Carson and take away a lot for us. This year, they’re going to have to respect everybody."
Don’t get White wrong he admits that the Miners are really going to miss Lyman in many aspects of the game and not just what she contributed to the stat sheet.
"We’ll miss her sheer ferocity," he said. "She’d go after any ball. She did not mind bumping into people and getting in people’s faces and stuff like that."
But, he’s excited about the opportunity to coach a faster, looser style of play, something he hasn’t done since taking over the head coaching job.
"This year will be the first year I’ve been coaching where we haven’t had a standout star," he said. "I’m very interested to see how that goes. It’s going to be different I don’t know if that’s good or bad. But it’ll be different."
The offense and defense will both be revamped, something the Miners have been working hard on this off-season.
"It’s just going to be a little more fast-paced, a little more up-tempo," White said. "With the depth we have, I think we’ll continuously be able to sub to keep that tempo going. With eight or nine people rotated in, you’re going to see people, when they’re in, going a lot harder."
Though the team won’t have any standout stars, White said there are several players ready to step into bigger roles, most notably senior Sabrina Prior.
"Sabrina’s ready," he said. "This is her fourth year and she’s been playing varsity for three now. She’s ready to step up. We’ve just got to get her a little more physical and a little more vocal. But she and [senior] Sariah Folau have done a great job this off-season leading everybody through off-season open gyms and stuff like that. Leadership-wise, I’m very excited about those two."
Behind Prior and Folau, the Miners are once again a predominantly younger squad. Only one other senior, Holly Huggins, is on the roster. But, White said, there’s plenty of varsity experience coming back.
"We’ve got Madeline Komisar and Marina Mayo coming back," he said. "They’ve each got 20 varsity games under their belts as sophomores. Hanna Shluker’s got 40 games as a junior."
When the season kicks off on Nov. 26, a home game against Hillcrest, White hopes to see his young unit blossom into a squad that can compete with region opponents Juan Diego, Morgan, Uintah and Union.
"I want to see how teams react to not being able to double or triple one of our players," he said. "I think, at each position, we’re fairly skilled. Hopefully we can end up on the upside [record-wise] this season."
Wednesday’s game will tip off at 7 p.m. at PCHS. The fresh/soph game begins at 3:30 p.m., with the JV game to follow at 5:15 p.m.
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Park City is the lone undefeated team in Region 10 play after a 60-30 win over Mountain View. The Miners have three more region games in their quest to repeat as region champions.