Leading the charge: Miners, opponents feeling Angilau’s impact
Jan 29, 2020 01:40PM
By Josh McFadden
Ameleya Angilau is a big reason why Bingham is hammering away at its opponents this season. (Photo by Pat McDonald)
By Josh McFadden | [email protected]
It shouldn’t be much of a surprise that the Bingham girls basketball team is having another good season.
The Miners entered the season with three straight region titles, with the last two coming in Region 4. Last season, Bingham won the Class 6A state championship by defeating Copper Hills 46-41. Now members of Region 4, Bingham is at it again. As of Jan. 22, the team was 10-4 overall and had won two of its three league games.
Senior leader Ameleya Angilau is one of the key members of this talented squad. The 5-foot-6-inch guard is scoring a team-high 13.2 points per game and paces the team in assists and three-pointers made (25 through 14 games). These figures are up from last season when she tallied 7.9 points an outing and connected on 14 three-pointers.
Angilau has reached double figures in scoring nine times and broke the 20-point mark three times so far. Her season-high was 29 points against American Fork on Dec. 5. In that contest, she went crazy behind the arc, hitting six three-pointers. In fact, she made a three-pointer in 11 of the team’s first 14 games.
She does far more than shoot and score, though.
“I’d consider leadership and being a floor general to be my biggest roles on my team,” she said.
Angilau orchestrates Bingham’s offense. She doesn’t just add to the scoring column; she gets others involved.
“I think my strengths as a player and leader are my ability to handle the ball and create plays for my teammates,” she said. “I make sure everyone is focused and on the same page throughout the entire game.”
The Miners started the season 6-1 before dropping a pair of games to out-of-state opponents at the Tarkanian Classic in Las Vegas, Nevada, Dec. 19 and 20. After that, Bingham reeled off four wins in five tries, with the only loss coming to Region 3 foe Herriman, 47-36.
Angilau has high hopes for the rest of the season, including another run in the state tournament. Last season at state, the Miners caught fire. Angilau thinks this team is just hitting its stride.
“I think so far, our season has gone OK,” she said. “We’ve had some bumps in the road, but we’re beginning to get our rhythm together, and I believe we’re only going to continue to get better from here. For the rest of the season, I hope to control the ball smartly, create plays and score when needed. And I hope we continue to play as a team with a lot of confidence.”
To play her part in accomplishing the team’s goals, Angilau vows to stay focused and provide leadership to the younger players. She said this is an easy, enjoyable group to be a part of.
“The best things about being on this team are that we’re extremely close on and off the court,” she said. “We each bring something different to the team that ends up meshing really well together.”
The Miners finish the regular season with a Feb. 13 contest at Riverton. Bingham will then take part in the state tournament, which will begin Feb. 15. As of our press deadline, the Miners were fifth in the 6A RPI rankings. The top six teams will get a first-round bye before hosting a second-round game.