There was no drama this time.
The Tooele boys basketball team made quick work of Park City on Wednesday night on the road, opening the game on a 16-2 run on the way to a 69-49 Region 11 win. The Buffaloes (8-7, 6-2 Region 11) remain a game behind county rival Stansbury for second place in the region standings.
“That’s been something that we’ve been working on — just coming out mentally ready,” Tooele coach Josh Johnsen said. “We had a good practice (Tuesday) to kind of set the tone.”
Tooele needed just 4:31 of game time to build its 16-2 advantage, thanks largely to the play of junior Nathan Swan. He converted a traditional three-point play, drained a mid-range jumper and hit a 3-pointer during the Buffs’ game-opening run, and Park City (4-13, 1-7) never really found a way to slow him down as he finished with 17 points.
“That’s why I think we’re so dangerous — you just don’t know who’s going to lead us in scoring,” Johnsen said. “Nathan played really well. We executed well. Teams that have gone man against us, we’ve executed really well against them. We wanted to show that we belong at the top of the region, and we won by 20, so that’s good momentum.”
Park City coach Michael Doleac got his team to play a little better after Tooele’s initial outburst, and the Miners trailed by 13 points with 2:36 to go in the first half. But a 7-0 Buffs run, with two buckets from Swan and a three-point play from freshman center Justin Rogers, stretched Tooele’s advantage to 43-23 at the break.
That made the rest of the game largely an exercise in clock control, as the Buffaloes slowed their breakneck offensive pace. They still stretched their lead to 24 after three quarters as senior Mitchell Bunn scored seven points in the third, and Johnsen emptied his bench after a Kyler Hymas 3-pointer put the Buffs up 61-32 with 5:23 left in the game.
Hymas had 17 points for Tooele, while Bunn finished with nine and Rogers had seven. Collin Lawrence had five points, including a 3-pointer near the end of the first quarter. Von Satter and Erwin Figueroa each scored four and Dawson Banks, Canyon Christensen and Tyler Beer had two each.
Tooele faces Ben Lomond at home on Friday night before a crucial matchup next Wednesday at home against Stansbury.
“We can’t have it be a trap game, so we have to focus on Ben Lomond (on Thursday) in practice, get a ‘W’ on Friday and get ready to go to war on Wednesday,” Johnsen said. “Wednesday’s a big one, but we’ve got to beat Ben Lomond on Friday or Wednesday’s game doesn’t matter as much.”
Nathaniel Lowe led Park City with 13 points. Alex Obradovich had 12 and Mark McCurdy added 10 for the Miners.