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The City Journals

Bingham girls basketball team claims third straight region crown

Mar 08, 2018 03:09PM ● By Josh McFadden

Sophomore Ameleya Angilau drives to the basket against Clearfield. (Photo/Pat McDonald)

Thrice is nice for the Bingham girls basketball team, which recently completed its regular season with a 66-49 victory over American Fork. The win, on Feb. 13, secured a Region 4 championship for the Lady Miners. 

Bingham had won two consecutive region titles, both in Region 3 of Class 5A. This season, the Miners moved to the newly created Class 6A, and new opponents and surroundings did nothing to keep Bingham from another top finish. 

The Miners finished the regular season with a 7-1 league mark, one game in front of second-place Westlake, a team that gave Bingham its only region loss of the season. Westlake defeated Bingham handily, 59-40, on Feb. 8. The Miners had won the earlier meeting at home, 41-34, on Jan. 23. 

Prior to the loss, the Miners had won six straight league games. Defense was critical to the team’s success. In three of the six wins, Bingham held the opposition to less than 36 points. In fact, in amassing a 16-6 overall record this season, Bingham surrendered more than 60 points just four times and more than 50 points on only eight occasions. 

The Miners will head into postseason play with a big win fresh on their minds. The region-sealing win over American Fork displayed two things the team has excelled in all year long: defense and resilience. The Miners held American Fork to 33 percent shooting and put the game away with a 20-10 run in the fourth quarter.

The 6A state tournament got underway Feb. 20 at Salt Lake Community College, where the entire tournament will be held. Bingham drew Region 3’s fourth-place team, Taylorsville, in the first round. In the single-elimination tournament, the Miners would play on Feb. 22 with a win against Taylorsville. 

Opponents have had fits with Bingham’s Maggie McCord. The 5-foot-8-inch junior has averaged more than 17 points per game this season. No one else has scored in double figures, but other contributors such as Ameleya Angilau, Journey Tupea, Jaycie Lichtie and Shanyce Makuei have been important cogs in Bingham’s machine. All four have averaged more than five points an outing. 

When the Miners begin state tournament action, they hope to improve on last season’s postseason where they lost in the quarterfinals to Viewmont, 54-37. Bingham hasn’t advanced past the quarterfinals since 2013 when it lost in the semifinals to Layton, 41-38. The Lady Miners won their last state championship in 2007.