PCHS boys’ basketball buried by Ben Lomond at home
The Park City High School boys’ basketball team has had trouble scoring points all season long. The Miners’ offensive struggles were on full display Friday night in the first half of their game against Ben Lomond.
After trailing 15-7 at the end of the first quarter, Park City managed only five points in the second quarter and went into the halftime break trailing 25-12.
Following the intermission, though, the Miners looked completely different. In the third quarter, they outscored the Scots 19-11 and, early in the fourth quarter, cut Ben Lomond’s lead to two points.
Park City couldn’t quite complete the comeback, however, as missed free throws and costly turnovers down the stretch sealed a 53-42 loss.
Park City Coach Caleb Fine said the team will focus on what went right in the third quarter and will try to extend that level of play to a full four quarters.
"We told them in the locker room, ‘You guys played as hard as you needed to play,’" he said. "For a period there, everyone was having fun — the players, the fans — because of the effort and energy. We hadn’t seen that effort and energy on a consistent basis in a long time. That’s winning basketball. Unfortunately, they’ve got to learn to do it for four quarters. If they do, [the season] will turn around a lot quicker than they think."
Fine said Ben Lomond’s zone defense gave the Miners trouble in the first half, but they started attacking it better in the second half.
"Ultimately, I don’t think we had the urgency [in the first half]," he said. "They continued to play that zone in the second half and all of a sudden we decided to attack and drive and not just jack up threes.
"I thought they baited us into really bad shots. We were something like 1-for-13 from three in the first half and they weren’t good shots. We took two or three good threes, but we took a lot of bad ones."
Seniors Drew Fleming and Nesta Heaps led the Miners with 13 points each. Jack Lecher scored seven points, Devin Valiquett scored three points and Sam Addicott, Josh Jennings and Jake Overson each added two.
Fine said the Park City offense needs to step up and produce enough points to win games in which the defense holds opponents to less than 60 points.
"This is not a 75-point team this year," he said. "It’s not a 65-point team. We’re not leading 3A in scoring. That’s not the personnel we have and that’s OK. Basketball is a game that can be played in the high-40s and 50s. That’s about the least you can expect to hold a team to. We’ve got to find a way to generate enough offense to win a game at that mark."
Friday night’s loss ended the Miners’ non-region schedule. Park City (1-13 overall) begins Region 10 play on Wednesday night. Fine said he’s encouraged by some of the flashes of excellence the Miners have shown in recent weeks.
"We would have liked to get a win [Friday], but that’s what we need," he said. "We will win and hopefully they buy into that. We talked about how much fun that [third quarter] was. Playing that hard was fun. I’m optimistic. They demonstrated they can do it. If they work as hard as they worked for a stretch of this game in practice, we’re going to find a way to win some games and make it to the playoffs."
Wednesday night’s game against Tooele is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. in the PCHS gymnasium.
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Dave Hanscom announced last month he was retiring as volunteer race director of the Wasatch Citizens Series after 30 years in the position.