Miners bow out in state boys basketball tournament
Apr 10, 2018 04:17PM ● Published by Josh McFadden
Senior Dax Milne dribbles away from his defender. (Photo/Pat McDonald)
Life was a little tougher this season for the Bingham boys basketball team. In a rebuilding season, the Miners placed third in Region 4 and fell in the first round of the Class 6A state tournament to former region rival Copper Hills.
At state, the Miners met the Grizzlies, the team they beat to win the 2016 5A state title. The two teams also met this past Jan. 5, with Bingham prevailing 64-53.
But things were different in the postseason.
Copper Hills held the Miners to just 29 points through three quarters on its way to a 61-54 victory. Bingham exploded for 25 points in the fourth quarter alone but surrendered 23 in the final period. The Miners were cold from the field, making just 18 of 49 shots. Meanwhile, the Grizzlies were efficient on offense, as they made an impressive 55 percent of their shots. Copper Hills also made twice as many free throws as Bingham.
Dalton Miller was the high-scorer for the Miners. The 6-foot-4-inch senior had 13 points and was also second on the team with six rebounds. For good measure, he added five assists and three steals. Junior Luke Tueller scored 11 points for Bingham.
Coming off two 5A state championships, Bingham figured this season would offer some roadblocks to a third title. The Miners moved up to the newly created Class 6A and played in a tough Region 4 that included perennial state power Lone Peak (which ended up winning the state tournament) as well as Pleasant Grove, Westlake and American Fork. In addition, the Miners had to replace their top seven scorers from the previous season.
Bingham ended up finishing with a 3-5 region record, behind Pleasant Grove and Lone Peak. The Miners finished the season 11-13 overall. It was the team’s first sub-.500 record since the 2011–12 season.
Unlike last season, the Miners won’t have quite the wholesale graduations from this year’s squad. Though leading scorer Ryan Wood, who averaged 10.1 points a contest, finishes his high school career this year, Bingham will bring back its second- and fourth-leading scorers in 2018–19. Sophomore Ethan Langston averaged 9.1 points per game, and Tueller contributed 7.9 points a game.