South Summit boys basketball keeps Park City at bay
South Summit defeated Park City 55-45 in boys basketball last Friday in Kamas, limiting the Miners’ scoring enough to successfully defend their home gym against their cross-county rivals.
After South Summit started the third quarter hot, Park City coach Mike Doleac called a timeout and told his team to look for more layups.
Nonetheless, a full nine trips up the court went by before Park City junior forward Alex Obradovich scored off the boards, drawing a foul along the way.
“We weren’t patient,” Doleac said after the game. “So we settled for a lot of contested threes.”
South Summit senior wing Jake Rydalch said the Wildcats had come into the rivalry matchup with a focus on defense, after a 59-57 loss to Manti at home the night before.
“We had a bit of a defensive lapse our entire first half against Manti, so tonight that was our huge emphasis – we have to stop (Park City’s) two guards, because that was their only offensive game,” Rydalch said. “Everything else fell into place because of that.”
The Miners’ junior guards, Mark McCurdy and Nathaniel Lowe, still led the team in points, with McCurdy picking up 16 and Lowe shooting 14. After that, Park City’s next best scoring performance was junior post Ben Hase with 6.
South Summit coach Dusty Hatch said McCurdy and Lowe “took over” the second half, making the Wildcats fight for the 10-point win.
“They brought them back,” he said.
South Summit had a similar scoring distribution, with senior guard Kael Atkinson leading the team with 16 points, followed by Rydalch with 10 and senior guard Jared Dansie with 7.
While the Miners kept it close, the Wildcats never let go of their lead as they went 16-14 by the end of the first quarter, 37-30 at halftime and 44-39 at the end of the third.
Hatch said South Summit could have broadened their lead except for its poor free throw performance. The Wildcats struggled from the line even as South Summit had four times as many opportunities to score off fouls as Park City. Only 12 of 28 Wildcat free throws were sunk, while Park City nailed 6 out of its 7 attempts.
Most of Park City’s drives resulted in the ball handler backing off to shoot a jump shot, rather than going in for a layup and potentially drawing a foul.
“Drives come if you get the defense moving, change the ball from one side of the court to the other, then get an easy baseline drive,” Doleac said. “We like to wait and hold and try to drive it on top when the defense is set, and that makes it really tough.”
Doleac said Park City needs to be more patient, instead of rushing to the first opening the team sees. He praised Park City’s Jacob Farnsworth for his effort in the game, saying while the senior forward lacks experience and doesn’t score as often, he facilitates much for the team.
“He does so many positive things on the court as far as rebounding, defending, guarding, moving the ball; setting screens,” Doleac said. “All of it is terrific.”
Park City (1-4) now prepares for a second cross-country rivalry matchup, hosting North Summit (2-6) at Park City High School at 7 p.m. on Friday.
“We like to say ‘pound the rock,’” Doleac said. “You just have to keep hitting the sledgehammer on the rock. Eventually we’ll make a little bit of progress.”
South Summit played Emory on Monday night, closing what the team considered a draining week of play. Results from that game were not available at deadline.
Over six days, the team had played two rivals, lost a close game against Manti, and played a perennial state foe in Emory, whom they defeated 80-74 in the playoffs last season after losing to the Rabbits 70-62 in the regular season.
South Summit will travel to Ogden High School (3-4) on Wednesday. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.
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It’s been a rough season for Park City, but a taste of the postseason could pay huge dividends in the future.