Bingham girls claim another region basketball title
Feb 26, 2019 03:50PM
● By Josh McFadden
Bingham girls basketball finished almost undefeated in the vaunted Region 4 to take the region title. (Photo by Pat McDonald
By Josh McFadden | [email protected]
The Bingham girls basketball team is in familiar territory once again: at the top of the standings.
Thanks to a big 66-57 win in the regular season finale over American Fork on Feb. 7, the Miners clinched an outright Region 4 championship. It was the second consecutive Region 4 title and the third in a row overall for Bingham, which shared the Region 3 crown in 2016–17.
The Miners entered the Class 6A state tournament as the region’s No. 1 seed and will take on the No. 4 seed from Region 1 on Feb. 18. The tournament runs through Feb. 23 at the Taylorsville campus of Salt Lake Community College.
Last season, Bingham took its No. 1 seed all the way to the state finals where it lost to Fremont.
The Miners controlled Region 4 from the start by reeling off wins in their first six league games. Bingham proved it could persevere in close games, as four of those victories were by eight points or fewer. A strong defense has been a significant factor in Bingham’s success this season. The Miners allowed no more than 60 points in any region contest and held four league opponent to under 50 points.
Every victory was important for Bingham this season, but perhaps none were more critical than the final nine-point triumph over American Fork to wrap up the regular season. Not only were the Miners coming off their first loss in region play, a 59-50 setback to Lone Peak three days earlier, but a loss would have left the door open for Westlake to share the crown with the Miners.
Bingham made sure it would be stingy with the title.
Against American Fork, Bingham shook off its recent loss and rode a dominant 20-9 second quarter to a commanding 36-19 halftime lead. American Fork did strike back to make things tense for Bingham. In the third quarter, American Fork outscored Bingham 19-10 to cut the margin to 46-38.
The Miners closed the door on the Cavemen, and on the Region 4 championship, finishing off the game with 20 points in the fourth quarter and preserving the victory. Maggie McCord had 22 points in the clinching win. Jaycee Lichtie added 12, while Ameleya Angilau had 10. The Miners hit seven of eight free throws and were clutch down the stretch.
Players and coaches know things won’t be easy at state, when the competition is intense and the stakes are high.
The Miners will ride McCord through the postseason. The senior standout has been a team leader on and off the court all year. She averages a team-high 17.5 points per game. Lichtie’s efforts help form a potent duo, as she scores more than 10 points an outing. Samantha Holman and Angilau both average more than seven points a contest.
Postseason success is nothing unusual to the Miners. The girls team has advanced past the first round the past three seasons and six of the past seven.