Miners stifle Ben Lomond for second straight win
Park City equals its win total from last season just 2 games in
Park City girls basketball coach Brett Isaacson said that he doesn’t measure his team’s success by wins and losses — but the Miners are sitting at 2-0 following a 42-25 win over Ben Lomond Tuesday night.
Sam Riely and Ava Kimche both had 15 points to lead the Miners offensively, and Park City’s defense shut down the Scots all night long. Since allowing 13 points in the first quarter of their opening game against Kearns, the Miners have given up just 41 points in seven quarters.
“I think the best part of their game is that their demeanor never changed the whole game,” Isaacson said. “Even when Ben Lomond hit a couple shots to try to claw back in, we never really panicked. They just kind of, I don’t know, they just seemed really poised. It was kind of exciting to watch.”
Park City jumped on Ben Lomond early, taking a 14-9 lead by the end of the first quarter. Kimche sank four free throws and added two more points on a field goal to pace the Miners. Four different Miners made it onto the scoresheet in the opening frame.
The first quarter was the beginning of a big night for the Miners from the free-throw line. After making just eight of their 22 attempts from the line against Kearns, the Miners went 19 for 27 from the charity stripe against the Scots. Riely and Kimche accounted for 15 points from free throws alone.
An even second quarter led to a 21-16 Park City lead at halftime, but the Miners took over in the second half. Park City continued to earn trips to the free-throw line and also scored on some open looks to keep putting points on the board. The Miners outscored Ben Lomond 21-9 in the second half to seal the victory.
“When you’re shooting in rhythm and you’re playing free and easy, the ball tends to go in the basket more often than not, and I think that was the difference,” Isaacson said. “They weren’t rushing, and if they didn’t have a good shot, they moved it to the next girl. So that was a big difference why we scored more, and we hit a lot of free throws.”
Defensively, the Miners were relentless all night long, but they were especially solid in the second half. Park City suffocated Ben Lomond and didn’t let the Scots back into the game.
“That’s really what we’ve been focusing on a lot in practice is defense: our defensive slides, our rotations and then rebounding the hell out of the ball,” Isaacson said. “We did go to more of a trapping defense today, we forced a lot of turnovers.”
With the win, the Miners have already tied their win total from last season. And while the focus isn’t necessarily on wins, Isaacson has noticed that his team is just having more fun this year. Winning certainly doesn’t hurt in that department.
“Kind of just like, ‘What do we have to lose? Let’s just go out and play basketball and have fun and just play loose,’” Isaacson said. “I think that’s the biggest difference. They don’t seem panicked and like deer in the headlights.”
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