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The City Journals

Bingham boys basketball sees long playoff streak end

Feb 21, 2019 01:39PM ● By Josh McFadden

Senior David Langston goes to the basket in a game earlier this season for Bingham. (Photo by Pat McDonald)

By Josh McFadden | [email protected]

Bingham boys basketball and the state tournament have gone hand in hand for several years. The program is accustomed to qualifying for the postseason and making deep runs at state.

But it won’t happen this season.

The Miners will do something the school hasn’t seen from its boys basketball team do in the 2000s: stay home from the state tournament.

Leading up to this season, the Miners had qualified for state every year this century. This season proved to be a tough one for Bingham, which competes in arguably the most talent-rich region in the state, Region 4. The Miners have had to take on Pleasant Grove and American Fork, which were each flirting with 20 wins late in the regular season. Other league foes include Westlake and Lone Peak, which are hardly slouches. Another illustration of how tough Region 4 is: Lone Peak, perhaps the most successful Utah high school program over the past 15 years, finished with a non-winning record in region play.

Bingham lost its first region contests, eliminating its chances of competing at the Class 6A state tournament. Only four of the league’s five teams gain a berth to the playoffs. At our press time, the Miners were two games behind Lone Peak for the final spot with just two games to play. However, Lone Peak beat Bingham twice to win any tiebreaker with the Miners.

It’s not as though Region 4 teams have bullied Bingham. The Miners have had some close calls and have competed in each contest. The Miners kept all six of those defeats to 11 points or fewer, with one coming by six points and the other one point (a 48-47 loss to Westlake on Feb. 1). 

The Miners have found points hard to come by in many games.

In five of those six defeats, Bingham didn’t reach 60 points. Opponents held the Miners to fewer than 50 points on three occasions during the first six region games. In games where the Miners did explode offensively, the defense struggled—in a 85-74 loss to American Fork on Jan. 22. 

Of course, the Miners have had their moments on the defensive end themselves. In the rematch against American Fork on Feb. 8, they held the Cavemen to just 50 points in a nine-point loss. They also limited Pleasant Grove to 51 points on Jan. 29. 

It’s difficult to judge Bingham’s season on its record alone, considering the level of play in Region 4. The Miners entered league play with a 10-5 mark, with one of those losses coming at the hands of a team from California. Another was a loss in an unusual non-region game against region foe American Fork during the Utah Elite 8 on Dec. 8. But the Miners also toppled defending Class 5A champion (and current Region 6 leader) Olympus 61-57 on Dec. 7.

There’s plenty of hope for next season.

Though the Miners lose leading scorer Luke Tueller to graduation, they bring back contributors Jordan Toscano, who averaged more than nine points per game as a sophomore this season. Junior Ethan Langston scored nearly six points an outing, and fellow junior Tyler West will also be back next year.