Strong core of players returning to Bingham girls basketball teamJan 03, 2022 03:55PM ● By Josh McFadden
Bingham's Chole Daniels looks to get the ball to a teammate during a game against Fremont on Dec. 3. (Photo courtesy of Bingham athletics.)
Last season, the Bingham girls basketball team reached the state semifinals. A lot of key members of that squad are back for 2021–22, so optimism is high around the program.
The Miners were 18-5 overall and 8-2 in Region 3 a year ago. That was good enough for a second-place league finish. A region title this season is within the team’s sights.
“Expectations are to improve each day and continue to be a team-first program,” head coach Skyler Beard said. “I know we have the talent and skill to make another run in the region and state.”
The Miners will face stiff competition in a challenging region. Last season, Herriman was a perfect 10-0 in Region 3, and Riverton was third behind the Miners. To achieve the team’s goals of winning the league and advancing in state, Beard said everyone on the squad has to play together.
“Coaches, captains and the team all have to buy in and be on the same page,” he said. “The great thing about these girls is they enjoy playing together and work hard for each other.”
Beard expects big things from key returning players Sierra Lichtie and Chloe Daniels, both seniors, along with sophomore Brianna Badonie. Newcomers Ruby McLeish, Aya Cox, Jocelyn Ordyna, Ane Henderson and Halle Bayles should contribute to the team’s success this season.
Lichtie averaged a team-high 14.4 points and 8.2 rebounds a game a year ago as a junior, while Daniels scored 5.8 points an outing. Badonie played more of a support role last season but should make a bigger impact this year.
The Miners should be strong defensively again this year. Last season, the team surrendered just 40.7 points a game. Beard would like to see the girls get better on the offensive end after scoring 54 points a game in 2020–21.
Bingham got off to a 4-1 start this season, with the only loss coming to its nemesis Fremont—the same team that beat the Miners in the state semifinals a year ago. This time around, Bingham fell 54-40 on Dec. 2. Bingham beat Orem 59-34 on Nov. 23, Brighton 59-31 on Nov. 30, Skyridge 49-33 on Dec. 7 and Layton 57-32 on Dec. 9.
Through four games, Lichtie was averaging just over 14 points a game, and Badonie was scoring 10.3 points a contest. Ruby McIeish is scoring 9.8 points a game.
Beard wants to see his team playing well throughout the season. However, for the season to be a success, he knows that the Miners need to be at their best when it matters the most.
“We need to be improving each day and peaking at the right time to make a run in the state tournament,” he said.