Bingham boys basketball avoid playoff misses
Mar 08, 2018 03:22PM
● By Josh McFadden
Sophomore Ethan Langston drives to the basket against Lone Peak. (Photo/Pat McDonald)
When a team wins back-to-back state championships, it has a big target on its back. The Bingham boys basketball team has been knocked down several times this season, but the team hopes to once again reach the state tournament, where just about anything is possible.
The Miners had to replace several key players from the last two state championship teams. Bingham has struggled at times this year, but still finished third in the five-team Region 4 behind Pleasant Grove and region champion Lone Peak.
It’s been a season of streaks for Bingham, who finished 11-12. The Miners won four in a row between Dec. 29 and Jan. 12 but then lost its next four games. At 0-3 in league play on Jan. 26, it looked as though the Miners might be in trouble. But they won three of their next four contests to get back into playoff contention. Their only loss during this late-season stretch was a 76-59 defeat at the hands of region-leading Lone Peak on Feb. 6.
On Feb. 9, the Miners ran past Westlake 61-44, avenging an earlier three-point loss to their Utah County neighbors. In the 17-point win, Bingham used a strong first quarter to get off to an 11-point lead. The Miners were never threatened after that. Bingham shot better than 50 percent from the field and held Westlake to just 14 of 35 shooting from the field. Dalton Miller and Brayden Cosper each had 12 points and five rebounds to lead the team. Derek Soffe contributed 11 points. The Miners’ defense also collected nine steals.
Four nights later, Bingham took care of American Fork 53-49. It was an identical score to the team’s earlier meeting on Jan. 26, only this time the Miners came out on top. Bingham was comfortably ahead 40-28 heading into the fourth quarter, but American Fork made things a little tense for the Miners by going on a 21-13 run in the final six minutes. Bingham held, though, to move up to third place in the region standings. Ryan Wood was the team’s leading scorer with 15 points, while Cosper added 14 points and four steals. Six other Miners got in the scoring column.
Bingham might not have any superstars on its team, but it has enjoyed balanced scoring and several contributors. Wood is the leading scoring at 10 points per game. Ethan Langston averages 9.5 points an outing, and Miller chips in 8.7 points per game. Cosper isn’t far behind with an average of just under seven points a contest. He and Miller are the team’s leading rebounders.
The Class 6A state tournament is set to begin Feb. 27 at Utah Valley University in Orem and at Weber State University in Ogden.