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Lady Miners fall just short of state title

Apr 10, 2018 04:19PM ● Published by Josh McFadden

Junior Maggie McCord put up a shot during a home game. The Miners lost in the state championship game to finish with a 19-7 record. (Photo/Pat McDonald)

The Bingham girls basketball team capped off a successful season with a trip to the Class 6A state championship game. The Miners lost to Fremont 61-47, ending their season with a 19-7 record.

Bingham captured the Region 4 title, going 7-1 in league competition. The Miners lost just five games all season long; they fell to a pair of out-of-state opponents at the Tarkanian Classic in Las Vegas, Nevada, before Christmas. 

In the championship game, Bingham couldn’t overcome Fremont’s efficient offense and tough defense. While Fremont shot 50 percent from the field, the Miners hit just 18 of 62 of their shots. Still, Bingham trailed just 40-35 entering the fourth quarter. 

But that’s when Fremont seized control. The Silver Wolves outscored the Miners 21-12 in the final six minutes to pull away and deny the Miners their first state title since 2007.

Bingham got a great game from Maggie McCord. The 5-foot-8-inch junior had a double-double, posting 14 points and 10 rebounds. She also added a pair of assists and two steals. Senior Shanyce Makuei also had a double-double, scoring 11 points and pulling down 11 rebounds. The Miners collected a dozen steals.

Bingham’s march to the state title game began with a tense contest with Taylorsville. The Miners escaped with a closer-than-expected 46-42 win over the Warriors in the first round. The Miners hit just 33 percent of their shots but did just enough to advance to the quarter finals. McCord had 17 points and seven rebounds, while Journey Tupea had 11 points, four rebounds and an impressive six steals. 

The next round against Northridge was a more comfortable, thanks largely to a stifling defense. The Miners won 61-36 and held the Knights to just 21 points through three quarters. Northridge hit less than 25 percent of its shots. Offensively, Bingham got a balanced contribution. McCord and Makuei each had 11 points, and 10 other players got into the scoring column. McCord also led the team in rebounds, with seven, and in steals, with four. 

In the semifinals, the Miners found themselves in a battle with former region rival Copper Hills. The Grizzlies were the Region 3 champions and shared the Region 3 crown with Bingham last season. In a bit of a reversal from the state championship game, Bingham was close with the Grizzlies during the first three quarters but went on a run in the fourth quarter to secure the victory. Bingham led 31-30 heading into the final quarter but then scored 17 points to Copper Hills’ 10 in the last six minutes. 

Against Copper Hills, McCord totaled 16 points and 11 rebounds to go along with three steals. Jaycee Lichtie contributed 13 points and five rebounds. Ameleya Angilau added 10 points. 

The future looks promising for Bingham. The Miners will return their top four scorers next season. McCord averaged nearly 17 points a game this season, while Angilau and Litchtie, both sophomores, averaged 7.4 and 6.9 points per game, respectively. Tupea, a junior averaged 6.8 points and outing. The quartet will lead an experienced and skilled team in 2018–19.  

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