Park City High School boys basketball ends middling season with win
The 2018-2019 season wasn’t all that the Park City boys basketball team hoped for, but, at least, it ended with a win Wednesday night.
The Miners finished a mediocre season with a dramatic comeback in front of a home crowd, beating Stansbury 62-61 with a last-second layup from senior point guard Mark McCurdy.
The Stallions got the last laugh, though, finishing the season in fourth in Region 11 and progressing to the state playoffs, while the Miners took fifth and turned in their basketball jerseys until fall.
That was a bitter disappointment for a team with a veteran starting five.
“I expected a lot more coming in than what happened,” said junior wing Nate Lowe after Wednesday’s game. “And it’s not like we just played awfully the entire season. We lost a lot of really close games.”
Eight of the team’s 13 losses were within 10 points, and two were within five – a 57-55 squeaker against Morgan on the Trojans’ court on Nov. 20, and an overtime loss to Bonneville at PCHS on Jan. 15.
Park City finished the season 8-13 overall; 4-7 in Region 11.
Coach Mike Doleac said the team “had our lumps,” but Wednesday was not one of them.
Stansbury had kept a narrow lead over most of the game, but the Stallions expanded the gap by 10 points halfway through the fourth quarter.
Back-to-back 3-pointers from Park City post Alex Obradovich and wing Adam Spink brought the Miners within two points of Stansbury, 59-57, with a minute and a half left in regulation.
The Stallions went up 61-57 on free throws before McCurdy hit another 3 for the Miners.
With 13.5 seconds left on the clock, Obradovich fouled the Stallions’ ball handler, who missed his one-and-one opportunity. Obradovich snatched the rebound, and Doleac called a timeout.
In the final possession, McCurdy drove the ball down the court and, as the final buzzer sounded, flew over a defender to the rim for the winning score.
“It was a great win,” Lowe said. “It didn’t count for much, but it’s always good to win.”
Same team, new region
Reflecting on this season, coach Doleac said he had “learned a lot” about the team and coaching – including team management; what the team is and is not.
He said the Miners weren’t a one-on-one team.
“We are much better when the ball moves, and we’re sharing it,” he said. “We execute at times really, really well. And when we do, we look really good and I’m thrilled with what I see. And there are times when we revert back to an ill-advised shot here and there, or one guy forgets to set a screen … It’s not a collective thing. It’s one slip-up here, one slip-up there that can hurt our confidence.”
The team will move up into Class 5A’s Region 8, where it will face Provo, Salem Hills, Spanish Fork, Maple Mountain, Payson, Wasatch and Springville.
To ensure next season isn’t like this one, Doleac said the team will have to work harder in the offseason, and when the season comes, to play as a unit.
“We have enough talent on this team and in this program to win, we just have to figure out what it means to play together, to share the ball, share the responsibility,” he said. “And what does it mean to put in the time and the effort now, in the offseason, to pay that price to be a successful team.”
Only one member of the team, point guard Jacob Farnsworth, will graduate in spring, so the whole team could be back for another year, which Lowe said would mean – regardless of the standings – a good reason to compete.
“There were times I didn’t enjoy it,” Lowe said of the season. “But most of the time I did, because of these guys.”
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