Miners lose at home
After winning their first four Region 10 home games, the Park City Miners faced their toughest challenge on Friday night against the region-leading Judge Memorial Bulldogs.
Despite closing the gap to three points late in the fourth quarter, the Park City High School boys’ basketball team was unable to get over the hump, losing to the Bulldogs 55-43.
Park City coach Caleb Fine pointed to two areas where the Miners struggled: poorly-executed offensive sets and rebounding.
"We got outrebounded 33-14," he said. "You don’t win like that. We were stagnant on offense; we’ve got to move more."
Sophomore guard Bosten VanDerVeur scored a game-high 18 points. Seniors Ryan Sherman and Hayden Daily contributed 12 and seven points, respectively, but it wasn’t enough to pull off an upset in their last home game.
Fine said he’s proud of the way his seniors have led the team this season and is glad their high school careers aren’t done yet.
"I’m sad we couldn’t get a ‘W’ for them in their last home game," he said. "But we’re still playing, and that’s what’s important."
Fine said the team’s focus now is improving in time for the playoffs, which start this weekend.
"When you get beat like we did, it’s hard to say it’s a positive," he said. "We wanted to win our last game at home. But, it showed what we’re going to have to fix to beat a good team down south. If we do (improve), we can go down and compete. If we don’t, we can expect the same results (as Friday night)."
He added that injecting new life into the offense will be the biggest key to advancing in the playoffs.
"If we stand around like that, we stink," he said. "That’s what showed tonight, especially in the second quarter. ‘If we stand, we stink’ that might be our motto this week."
But, he continued, there’s still time to get things right in time for Friday’s matchup in either St. George or Cedar City.
"The good news is we’ve got a week to prepare, a week to try some new things," he said Friday night. "We’ve got to show them what they’re doing wrong and then show them how to do it right."
In addition to finding ways to get more open looks for Daily, who has been drawing a lot of attention from opposing defenses, Fine said the Miners will need bigger contributions from guys like Sam Kingdon, Tom Wood and Konnor Anderson.
"They’re going to need to step up," he said. "They’ve done a great job for us all year. But it’s the playoffs; everyone needs to step up. They are capable of scoring, and when they get their open shots, we expect them to knock them down."
Park City finished the regular season in fourth place in Region 10, with a 5-5 mark in region play and a 9-13 overall record. Friday’s first-round playoff game against a Region 9 opponent will start at a to-be-determined time.
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