PCHS girls’ basketball looks to win new region
November 17, 2015
The Park City High School girls’ basketball team was stuck in one of the toughest regions in the state last year. Region 10 foes Morgan and Juan Diego cruised to the 3A state title game, with Juan Diego earning a lopsided 67-47 victory.
Going up against teams of that caliber made finding wins difficult for the Miners, Coach Sam White said. This year, though, after a realignment has left Park City with three new region opponents, White is optimistic that the Miners can at least be competitive every night.
"The goal is always a region title and this is the year to do it," he said. "Juan Diego and Morgan played each other in the final last year, so that was four automatic losses [during region play]. And, any time you don’t have to go to Uintah is nice."
In place of Morgan, Juan Diego and Uintah are Tooele, Stansbury and Grantsville. White said the Miners are somewhat familiar with all three schools.
"We played Stansbury and Grantsville last year and Tooele for a couple years before that, so we kind of know what to expect from them," he said. "They lost a few players, but I’m sure they’ll have new ones step up, too."
Meanwhile, Park City returns most of its key players from last year’s squad. Though the team lost Hanna Shluker, Lexi Fulton and Lirio Sanchez to graduation, White is confident in the contributors who are still in uniform.
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"[Hanna] was good for 12 to 14 points a game," he said. "And Lexi and Lirio, although they didn’t score as much, they were great leaders and good defenders. The three of them will be missed, for sure."
Marina Mayo, Madeline Komisar, Rachel Brothers and Jessica Perry received a lot of varsity playing time last year. White said that experience is already showing in practice.
"It’s been great because in just four days of practice, Marina and Madeline have really shown that they’re paying attention and they’re starting to think the game more. We’re introducing new parts of our offense and they’re already asking questions that are two or three steps down the road. That’s really nice to see."
Meanwhile, White said Perry and Brothers have shown improvement, as well.
"Rachel’s been playing on a club team over the offseason, so she’s come back with some new skills and some new leadership qualities we enjoy and Jessica continues to grow her game," he said. "We’re expecting big things out of those four."
Behind the starters, White said he’ll try to develop the team’s bench more than he has in years past.
"The [playoff] play-in game [last year] was an eye-opener for me," he said. "Mayo was on vacation doing a service trip and Hanna was on vacation, so all of a sudden, we had a lot of people who hadn’t played a whole lot throughout the year. One of my goals this year is to develop a lot more people and be ready for situations like that — foul trouble, injuries. I’ve gone out of my way to warn them that they will not miss games, but if they do, the goal is to have a much deeper team."
Among those who will be counted on to step up and contribute to the team’s depth are Montana Landis, Martina Hebert and Allie Thorn. White said he’s not expecting the substitutes to contribute too much offensively, but would like to see an all-around game when they get varsity minutes.
"It’s who can come in and chip in a few points here and there, but mostly who can come in and be a rebounder and defender and a hustle player."
Offensively, White said the Miners will continue last year’s up-tempo style of play, with an emphasis on creating offense by forcing turnovers defensively.
"We would love to continue that," he said. "We were successful when that was working. Obviously, any time you can get layups or fast-break points is great. We’re putting in more of an offense that allows them to make reads and reactions, so we’re excited for that."
In the early going, White said he thinks the Miners will improve steadily heading toward the Region 10 portion of the schedule.
"I expect there to be some growing pains with the offense," he said. "But we didn’t schedule anyone who should blow us out and we didn’t schedule anyone we should blow out. If we do what we’re supposed to do, we should compete."
Park City’s season begins on Nov. 24 at Orem. The Miners’ first home game is scheduled for Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. against Hillcrest.
PCHS Girls’ Basketball Schedule
Nov. 24 — at Orem — 5:15 p.m.
Dec. 7 — vs. Hillcrest — 7 p.m.
Dec. 8 — vs. South Summit — 7 p.m.
Dec. 11 — at Provo — 7 p.m.
Dec. 15 — at West — 7 p.m.
Dec. 16 — at Cyprus — 6 p.m.
Dec. 18 — vs. Carbon — 7 p.m.
Jan. 5 — at Waterford — 7 p.m.
Jan. 8 — at Ben Lomond — 7 p.m.
Jan. 12 — vs. Tooele — 7 p.m.
Jan. 15 — at Union — 5:15 p.m.
Jan. 19 — vs. Stansbury — 7 p.m.
Jan. 26 — at Grantsville — 7 p.m.
Jan. 28 — at Tooele — 7 p.m.
Feb. 2 — vs. Union — 5:15 p.m.
Feb. 4 — at Stansbury — 7 p.m.
Feb. 11 — vs. Grantsville — 7 p.m.
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