Lady Miners Win State Basketball Championship

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Lady Miners Win State Basketball Championship

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LADY MINERS WIN STATE BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP

TAYLORSVILLE — Losers on consecutive nights to both Fremont and Copper Hills in early December, the Bingham girls basketball team flipped the table in a big way in becoming the ultimate winner in late February. The stage this time was the 6A state championship, which the Miners took with a 46-41 win over the Grizzlies on Saturday, a night after taking a 46-42 win over Fremont.

“It feels amazing. We’ve worked so freaking hard for this and it’s great to see it pay off,” said Bingham senior Maggie McCord during Bingham’s championship celebration. “We deserve it. We worked so hard this season and I’m so glad I could experience this with my teammates for my final year.”

As for McCord, she hardly could have proved more clutch down the stretch and throughout the tournament.

The senior guard led all scorers with 25 points in Saturday’s win, with six of those coming by virtue of foul shots during the game’s final minute and a half. Time and again the tournament MVP found herself with the ball, working to protect a late lead with the Grizzlies coming hard at them.

When asked how the ball found McCord so often down the stretch, Bingham coach Charron Mason quickly turned the question around, stating, “Maggie found (the ball) time and again.”

Indeed, McCord took charge like a good senior captain would, and then capitalized on every opportunity to put the game on ice. All six of her foul shots found the bottom off the net while barely grazing rim in securing a 38-33 late lead and then the state championship.

“I just thought of it as free throws after practice,” McCord said. “I just knew to stay calm and hit them.”

As for her teammates, there’s no one they’d rather have taking those shots in that situation.

“She’s clutch in everything she does,” said Bingham guard Ameleya Angilau. “She works harder than anyone and we’re going to miss her next year, but I’m glad we got this for her.”

Her 25 points scored attest that it was far more than clutch foul shots McCord provided on Saturday. Time and again she’d hit big shots to keep Copper Hills at bay to complete Bingham’s remarkable season in the grandest fashion.

“She just never stops working. She’ll get whatever she can and the best part about her is she does it for her team,” Mason said. “She doesn’t do it for herself. She just loves these girls so much that she does it for them.”

As for McCord’s teammates, they played big as well, with Angilau hitting two of her own big foul shots late with Madison Jones hitting two big 3-pointers and securing seven rebounds. Mason was certain to not just single out one player throughout the tournament and followed form after the championship win, which was the program’s first since 2007.

Getting there wasn’t easy, with Copper Hills overcoming a slow start to cut the Miners’ lead to just 19-17 at the half. Leading the way for the Grizzlies were Eleyana Tafisi and Breaunna Gillen, who scored 14 and 12 points, respectively.

 

But Bingham proved the better team from the outset of the third quarter, scoring nine straight to build a 28-17 lead just minutes into the second half to put the Grizzlies directly behind the 8-ball.

Closing strong is what Bingham did throughout the tournament and in a year where it took some tough losses early to learn from, it passed the final test of the year in the best way possible.

“It was the Bingham revenge tour,” Angilau said. “We got it against Fremont and then we had to finish it, and there was no better way to finish it than against Copper Hills.”