Prep boys' basketball: Park City knocks off Bear River

Prep boys' basketball • VanDerVeur scored 23 points after not starting.
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Park City • Bosten VanDerVeur never will forget his neck tie again.

The Park City guard showed up to school with a bare neck — a violation of team rules — and was benched for the first two minutes of Friday's 67-57 over Bear River.

"You never want to have your best player on the bench, but when he doesn't follow team rules, he has to learn a lesson as a young sophomore," Park City coach Caleb Fine said.

The Miners fell into a 7-0 hole to start the game, cuing the student section at "The Shaft" to chant, "We want Bosten!"

VanDerVeur more than made up for the lost time.

After scoring just two points in the first quarter, VanDerVeur finished with 23 to lead all scorers.

"I knew my team needed me to come out strong even though I wasn't starting like I usually do," VanDerVeur said. "I wasn't going to come out slow just because I didn't start."

A VanDerVeur 3-pointer late in the first half gave the Miners (2-5) their first lead of the game and sparked an 8-0 run to close the half. Another VanDerVeur deep ball helped spur another decisive 13-4 run to open the third quarter. VanDerVeur also connected on 7 of 9 free throws.

"He's our best player," Fine said.

Defensively, Park City keyed on Bear River senior Wade Miller, the Bears' leading scorer. Miller finished with 20 points to lead the Bears (5-3) but had to work for every one of them because Park City sophomore Sam Kingdon's 6-foot-4 frame was draped over him all game.

"We wanted to make sure the ball was out of his hands," VanDerVeur said. "We had to make sure he didn't get it going. Sam did a great job of making him kick it to other guys, and he didn't have a lot of other options. No one else on that team could score beside him."

The Miners will travel to Mount Pleasant to face North Sanpete next week before heading to Cedar City for the Steve Hodson Cancer Classic after Christmas.

"We definitely haven't played our best basketball yet," VanDerVeur said. "We just gave everyone a taste of what we can be. We're a threat in Region 10." —