Tight-knit Miners look to keep things rolling in girls basketball
Dec 10, 2019 02:55PM
● By Josh McFadden
Ameleya Angilau returns to lead the Bingham Miners this season. (Photo by Pat McDonald)
By Josh McFadden | [email protected]
After spending the past two seasons in Region 4, the Bingham girls basketball team moves back to its former home: Region 3. The Miners are looking for the same results from the former league.
Winning a title.
Bingham went 7-1 in league play and 18-7 overall a year ago. It was the third straight region title for the Miners, who will now contend with Copper Hills, Herriman, Jordan, Riverton and West in the standings. Before jumping into region action, the Miners will play a full slate of non-league games, beginning with a road game at East, two days before Thanksgiving on Nov. 26.
“We are very excited for this season,” head coach Charron Mason said. “The girls have been working very hard to be successful this year. We want to compete in every game and do our best. We want to continue playing as a team and working together both on and off the court.”
Mason has a trio of senior to rely on for leadership and production. Point guard Ameleya Angilau averaged nearly eight points a game last season. She’ll run the offense this season, something Mason said she is comfortable doing.
“[Angilau] is an amazing point guard and a great leader in work ethic and intelligence,” Mason said. “She knows basketball and gets the different strategies to win. Her teammates love playing with her because she is so competitive.”
Center/forward Jaycee Lichtie is an imposing force in the middle. Mason also likes her attitude and commitment to the team. She was the second-leading scorer on the team last season by averaging more than 10 points a contest.
“[Lichtie] is a vocal, cheerful leader,” Mason said. “She works hard and is very powerful. The girls love playing with her because she is hilarious.”
Mason said guard Sammy Holman is a great shooter and an “awesome team player.” She helps calm and focus the team when things start to slip away. She is also confident with the ball in her hands.
One of the advantages Mason has with this group is that the players are familiar with one another. The Miners have a lot of experience, as team members have been together through the highs and lows of previous seasons. Mason is also pleased that this isn’t an ego-driven squad. Instead, everyone is concerned about the team, not individual accolades.
“The girls know each other really well and have been playing together for a long time,” she said. “They love playing for each other, and they love competing. It is a fun team to be a part of because everyone wants the team to succeed above anything else.”
Lichtie couldn’t agree more. She enjoys the positive feelings the team exudes.
“I love the girls on the team,” she said. “We are all competitive, and we want to do our best.”
As the season gets underway, Mason has orchestrated a highly intense environment at practice. She knows it’s important to maintain this mindset as the Miners get into the season. She has also emphasized dedication to the team’s goals and capitalizing on each other’s strengths.
The Utah High School Activities Association has instituted a new Ratings Percentage Index to seed teams for the state tournament. Region standings no longer dictate postseason positions. Instead a formula, based on teams’ records and their opponents’ records, determine placement. Every team will qualify for the Class 6A state tournament.
Mason believes the team’s early season schedule should prepare the players for region and state tournament action.
“We face tough competitors throughout the state,” she said. “Our preseason should provide us some tough competition, and we hope that will prepare us to play in a good region. We are excited for these challenges.”
Bingham’s players appear ready and primed for another successful season.
“I will hold everyone to high standards and makes sure we are all working hard,” Lichtie said.