Miners win home opener over Rowland Hall | ParkRecord.com

Miners win home opener over Rowland Hall

Park City outscores the Winged Lions 28-11 in 2nd quarter

Park City boys basketball coach Thomas Purcell instructs his team from the sidelines during a playoff game in 2020. On Tuesday night, the Miners defeated Rowland Hall 85-69 in their first game of the 2021-22 season.
Park Record file photo

Park City High School’s boys basketball team opened its season Tuesday night with a commanding 85-69 victory over Rowland Hall.

Three Miners scored double-digit points, and a strong second quarter where the Miners outscored the Winged Lions 28-11 set the tone for the rest of the game. Cutter LaPine led the way with 22 points, and Park City overcame a 33-point effort from Rowland Hall’s Ozzie Smith.

“(It) feels pretty good,” Park City coach Thomas Purcell said. “It’s been a long time since these guys have had what I would describe as a normal win, where you’ve got students on the court and stuff. Man, it’s been almost two years.”

The Miners got off to a quick start offensively, as LaPine, junior Matthew Hale and senior Will Agnew each drilled a 3-pointer in the first quarter to help give Park City a 19-11 edge.

LaPine and Hale were a lethal combination from behind the arc in the second quarter, teaming up for 12 points on 3-point attempts alone. The Miners knocked down four free throws in the frame and made a few field goals to really pour it on. Park City led 47-22 at halftime.

“We really scored the ball well in the second quarter,” Purcell said. “We shot the ball well, we moved the ball well, scored from a variety of ways. And we can do that, but you’ve got to have guys making the right plays.”

Park City’s offense cooled off slightly in the third quarter, but Khai Lockwood had the hot hand. Lockwood led the Miners with six points in the quarter and had eight overall. LaPine sank another 3, as did Hale, who finished the night second on the team with 19 points.

The Miners were also efficient from the free-throw line, as they made 17 of their 21 attempts, most of them coming in the fourth quarter. Senior Luke Varechok had six points in the final quarter, including a couple of free throws, to cap a 17-point effort.

Rowland Hall attempted to make a comeback, as the Winged Lions outscored Park City 47-38 in the second half. Smith was held somewhat in check in the first half with 10 points, but he exploded down the stretch for 23 in the second half. However, the Miners’ first-half outburst was too much to overcome for the Winged Lions, who entered the game undefeated at 3-0.

“We probably should have had more than three (players) in the double digits,” Purcell said. “I think if you look at where Sebastian (Wolf) came in, where Will Agnew came in, where Khai Lockwood came in, those guys can easily be in the double digits. I think we have five or six guys that can hurt other teams.”

Earning a win early in the season gives the Miners a boost while they start to settle into the new season. Park City has a pair of home games after the Thanksgiving break that will help Purcell, the coaching staff and the team get a feel for each other. Throw in the players enjoying their first “normal” win in nearly two years, and it’s a good start for the Miners.

“I think tonight’s a good jumping-off point for us, but for me, I hope it shows the guys how good they can be,” Purcell said. “I hope it doesn’t put a cap on how good we can be.”

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