PCHS girls’ basketball holds on for narrow win
January 17, 2015
When a team scores six points in the first quarter and five points in the third quarter of a basketball game, it’s usually a safe bet to say that team didn’t win. But that’s exactly what the Park City High School girls’ basketball team did on Tuesday night in an exciting 41-40 victory over Uintah.
The Miners trailed 10-6 after one quarter in their Region 10 opener at PCHS, but battled back to take a 16-15 halftime lead. Uintah went up 24-21 after three quarters before a high-scoring fourth quarter gave the Miners the win.
Park City Coach Sam White said the win wasn’t pretty, but the Miners will take it any day.
"Six points in one quarter, five points in another — it wasn’t a great offensive night," he said. "Credit Uintah — they threw a half-court zone at us that we hadn’t practiced against much. But credit our girls, too. They stepped up big time. They made the adjustments, found the open player. I’m super proud of them, but we have a lot of work to do before we play Union on Friday."
Holding a lead late in the fourth quarter, the Miners committed several turnovers that allowed Uintah to even the score.
"We were up six with about two and a half minutes left and we were trying to stall it out," White said. "But we had three turnovers in a row that turned into points for them."
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But then Park City got it together. Though the girls only made 10 of 17 from the free-throw line, many of the makes came late to seal the victory.
"Rachel Brothers stepped up big and Marina Mayo hit big free throws and so did Jessica Perry," White said. "They started taking care of the ball at the very end, too."
Mayo especially turned in a good effort on Tuesday night, leading the Miners with 12 points. But, White said, Mayo’s biggest contribution came from being a leader.
"Marina Mayo was just firing people up during timeouts and dead balls — she was not going to lose that game," he said. "That was great to see. It’s nice to have a leader emerge like that."
Perry also finished in double figures, scoring 10 points. Rachel Brothers and Madeline Komisar each had seven points and Hanna Shluker added five.
Though the Miners committed more than their fair share of turnovers offensively, White said the defense was forcing plenty of Uintah turnovers as well.
"The defensive intensity was huge, especially when we went to the full-court press," he said. "It just made things a lot easier — we were literally getting steals right under our own basket. The defense turned into offense, but we still need to push it more once we get the ball. We were a little timid pushing the ball up the floor early."
The end of the game was marred by a missed call by the referees that may have shifted momentum in the Miners’ favor, causing the Uintah coach to storm off the court after shaking hands with the Park City players.
"She had told the referees that on a made free throw [with only seconds remaining in the game and the Utes down by four], she wanted a timeout," White explained. "The free throw goes through and no timeout is called. We inbound the ball and Jessica Perry gets fouled right away. Jessica goes to the line and she makes her first shot.
"[The Uintah coach] has every right to be mad — I’d be furious. I feel bad for her. I would hope we could have held on if the right call was made and I believe we could’ve, but we dodged a bullet tonight."
Despite the controversy, White said the team is happy to be 1-0 in Region 10 play. The Miners were scheduled to take on Union on Friday night, after this issue went to press. White said he wasn’t sure what to expect from the Cougars, but added that the emphasis will be on making sure his team improves.
"They’ve got a new coach, so there’s kind of a new style," he said. "But we’ve got to play a lot better than tonight if we want to win."
Park City (5-5 overall, 1-0 in Region 10) is scheduled to play Morgan (8-6, 0-0) at PCHS on Tuesday, Jan. 20. That game will tip off at 5:15 p.m.