South Summit boys’ basketball routs Park City
The revamped offensive attack of the South Summit High School boys’ basketball team looked stagnant in the early going of Friday night’s Park City Classic game against host Park City.
Through the first quarter of play, Park City held a 10-7 lead. The Wildcats’ fortunes quickly changed, though, as they outscored the Miners 22-10 in the second quarter to take a 29-20 halftime lead.
In the third quarter, the Wildcats continued their hot offensive play and extended their lead to 49-28. Park City started generating more offense in the fourth, but it was too little, too late, as South Summit cruised to an easy 61-45 victory.
For a team that was worried about its defense before the season started, South Summit Coach Dusty Hatch said the Wildcats looked good on that side of the ball.
"I thought our defense was great," he said. "I don’t think Park City is a bad team — they play hard in everything they do. The way we defended tonight, I think we’re getting there. We matched up well with Park City and the boys executed well. They did a good job."
Offensively, Hatch thought the Wildcats may have been a little too amped up playing in the hostile atmosphere of PCHS.
"In the second [quarter], they settled down and got in a rhythm," he said.
At the intermission, Hatch said he and his coaching staff emphasized the need for South Summit to keep its foot on the gas pedal.
"We said at halftime that we had to get out and run," he said. "That’s where we’re at our best — the open floor. This was the first game we’ve really looked to get it up the floor. I think a lot of that has to do with our ability to get stops on the defensive end and then our ability to rebound. When we can rebound, we can get out and run."
South Summit senior Mason Gines led all scorers with 15 points. He said the Wildcats thrive in hostile environments like Park City.
"We’d almost rather play here than at home, honestly," he laughed. "The crowd is kind of crude, but we love it. It’s fun. The more they chant at us, the better we play."
He said winning by 16 points relieved a lot of frustration from years past.
"It feels great," he said. "We’ve been struggling to beat them the past two years, so it feels good to get a win in here."
Park City’s Sam Addicott was the only other player to score double-digit points on Friday night, leading the Miners with 10.
Though South Summit would have liked to score more points against the Miners, Gines said the offensive improvement from last year’s squad was still clear on Friday.
"This year, we can score the ball — it’s as simple as that," he said. "Last year, if we wanted to score, it had to be a layup. We shot 17 percent from the field last year. Now we’re shooting 55 or 60 percent."
Gines said the Wildcats hope to channel the momentum from Friday’s victory into sustained success down the road.
"Coach Hatch told us [last week] we were in third gear," he said. "We’ve got to get to fourth and then hit overdrive. As soon as we hit overdrive, we have to keep cruising. This put us in overdrive and, if we continue to build on this, we’re going to be just fine."
Hatch added he hopes the energy displayed against Park City will carry over into upcoming games.
"I think the good things we did tonight will help us hit that next gear," he said. "The good defense and the early offense — that’s what we’ve been trying to get out of them all year. Hopefully something clicks that says this is how we can play and be effective."
South Summit will travel to Morgan on Thursday for a game against the Trojans. The Wildcats return home on Friday to host Uintah. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at South Summit High School.
The Park City High School girls golf team took second in the Class 4A state championship tournament on Thursday. It was the team’s fifth consecutive time as runner-up.