North Summit boys’ basketball edges Park City 58-54
After getting off to a slow start on Saturday night at Park City High School, the North Summit High School boys’ basketball team quickly took control. Trailing 13-11 to the Miners heading into the second quarter, the Braves outscored their opponents 15-4 to take a big 26-17 lead into halftime.
However, the Miners weren’t about to go down easily, winning the third quarter 15-8 to cut North Summit’s lead to 34-32 heading into the final period.
Both offenses kicked into high gear in the fourth quarter, scoring a total of 46 points, with North Summit ultimately holding on for a 58-54 victory.
North Summit Coach Marques Johnson said the win wasn’t pretty, but he’d take it after losing to Park City 66-40 in the Park City Classic last year.
"It definitely helps [our confidence], especially after last year, when we got completely blown out," he said. "Obviously, they were senior-heavy last year, but they’re still a big school and they compete very, very hard. They push you and really get after you."
Curtis Calderwood led North Summit with 19 points. Mason Richins added 14 and Braden Richins scored 13 in the win. Johnson said the Richins twins and Calderwood made a big impact on Saturday’s game.
"Curtis played really well at the guard position," he said. "He made key free throws when we needed him to in the fourth quarter."
Johnson added that even though the Richins twins had major size advantages over anyone on Park City’s roster, it was still nice to have them control the boards the way they did.
"That’s awesome to see," he said. "It’s a huge advantage to have when you’re able to outrebound your opponent. They’re doing a tremendous job for us this year."
Calvin Hunsaker scored six points for the Braves and Braxten Northrup and Tyler Coleman each added three.
Drew Fleming led Park City with 15 points. Jack Lecher scored 12 and Josh Jennings had 10. Sam Addicott contributed seven points, Will Robinson had six and Devin Valiquett and Nesta Heaps each chipped in with two.
Johnson said the Braves’ defense was stellar early on, but adjustments needed to be made on the fly after a third-quarter run by the Miners.
"In the early going, we played a lot of zone and were contesting their threes and they just weren’t going in," he said. "Then, they started heating up and we had to get out of that. Our lead went from nine to a tie game midway through the third quarter."
But, he added, that’s the kind of challenge the Braves need at this point in the season.
"Those are the games you want in the preseason — tough battles to get victories," he said.
Moving forward, Johnson said it will be important for the Braves to avoid becoming complacent with big halftime leads.
"Coming out in the third quarter, we had a nine-point lead and that quickly went away," he said. "We have to be ready to come out and match their intensity. We’ve got to come out ready to go after halftime."
North Summit travels to Green River, Wyoming, this weekend for the Flaming Gorge Classic Dec. 17-19. After losing guard Eric Wayment to an injury in the Pepsi Classic earlier this season, Johnson said the Braves’ goal in Wyoming is simple: stay healthy.
"Our big thing is we just want to be injury free," he said. "We lost one of our best guards to a broken wrist against Ben Lomond. We want to compete the best we can but stay injury free so we’re ready to go for region play."
The Braves will return home on Monday, Dec. 28, to host Northridge. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at North Summit High School.
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Two Park City singles players advance to the semifinals of the 5A state tennis playoffs; North Summit and South Summit girls soccer to begin state playoffs next week.