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The City Journals

After slow start, Bingham girls basketball gets on a roll

Feb 05, 2019 04:23PM ● By Josh McFadden

Bingham’s Ameleya Angilau (No. 12) attacks the basket in a game earlier this season with Kasia Higgins (No. 13) looking on. (Photo by Pat McDonald)

By Josh McFadden | [email protected]

It’s not about how your start but how you finish—at least that’s what most coaches will tell you. The Bingham girls basketball team hopes that’s true as the 2018–19 campaign rolls on.

Bingham had some struggles early on. After winning its opener in lopsided fashion over Hillcrest on Nov. 27, 72-37, Bingham dropped four in a row, five of its next six and six of next eight. Two of those losses came during the famed Tarkanian Classic tournament in Las Vegas, Nevada, Dec. 19–22. 

At this point, the Miners were 2-6 and were getting close to starting league play in one of the state’s most competitive, talented regions. 

No one panicked. 

Bingham proceeded to reel off four straight wins to bring its record to 5-6. All four of these victories were by at least 14 points, including a 74-32 shellacking of Juan Diego on Jan. 4 on the Soaring Eagle’s home court. The Miners also blitzed Viewmont 63-43 on Jan. 3 and concluded the Tarkanian Classic with a 63-38 triumph over Castle View, Colorado. 

The most important win, however came Jan. 10 when the Miners defeated Pleasant Grove 62-48 in the Region 4 opener. Maggie McCord dominated with 21 points, and Jaycee Lichtie added 13 in the 14-point win. Bingham also got 11 points from Ameleya Angilau, as Bingham gave Pleasant Grove just its third loss of the year up to that point.  The Miners were especially effective at the foul line, where they converted 18 of 22 shots.

Bingham had the game well in hand as the fourth quarter began, leading 51-31. Pleasant Grove made a modest run in the final few minutes, but the Miners were never seriously threatened. 

The Miners then hosted Westlake on Jan. 15 and Lone Peak on Jan. 17 (both after our press deadline) before playing at American Fork on Jan. 21. Bingham faces all four Region 4 opponents twice, ending Feb. 7 when it entertains American Fork. 

As long as the Miners can avoid a last-place finish in the league standings, they will once again return to the state tournament. Last season, the Miners advanced all the way to the Class 6A state championship where they fell to Fremont 61-47. 

Bingham in the postseason has been like death and taxes: a certainty. The Miners haven’t missed the state tournament this century. 

McCord and Lichtie have formed a potent duo this season. McCord, a 5-foot-8-inch senior averages 15.2 points per game. Lichtie, a 5-foot-11-inch junior is second on the team with a 10.4-point average. Angilau, a junior, chips in around seven points a game, while fellow 11th-grader Samantha Holman is just below seven points a game in scoring.