Lady Miners’ Basketball Team Claims Repeat 6A State Title

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High school girls basketball: Bingham rallies past No. 1 Fremont to claim repeat 6A state title

Bingham made 9 of 14 3-pointers to overcome a 10-point first half deficit on its way to state championship

By James Edward@DNewsPreps  Feb 29, 2020, 9:20pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Fremont has gotten the better of Bingham in the regular season each of the past two years, but when it has mattered most in the playoffs, the Miners have proven superior in the clutch.

A year after bouncing tournament-favorites Fremont in the semifinals, Bingham got the better of No. 1 seed Fremont again on Saturday night in the 6A championship, pulling away late for the 59-51 victory and a repeat state title.

On Saturday morning, Bingham watched film of its 27-point loss to Fremont back in December, and coach Charron Mason said her players’ reactions to a simple question reassured her that they were ready for the tough challenge.

“I asked the girls, what have we improved since then, and I can’t tell you how many things they rattled off. ‘Oh we’re so much better at defense, we pass so much better, we run our offense so much better,’” said Mason, recalling the conversation.

Sierra Lichtie, who was named the Deseret News tournament MVP after finishing with 18 points, said it was inevitable her team would get better after a very tough preseason and region schedule.

Leading scorers

Bingham: Sierra Lichtie, 18

Fremont: Timea Gardiner, 19

“I think it was our trials. We always somehow pull through. We had seven losses on our season but that’s how we learn. That’s how we came together and stuck together and were able to battle,” she said.

The difference on Saturday for Bingham was 3-point shooting. The Miners buried 9 of 14 3-pointers, including 4 of 4 from Lichtie and 4 of 5 from Samantha Holman.

Holman’s sharp shooting led to 16 points, while senior Jaycee Lichtie added 15 points.

“One of our goals that we actually say in the locker room is calm and confident. We just had the confidence to shoot the ball. We just knew in our hearts it was ours,” Sierra Lichtie said.

Fremont actually came out the better team and jumped out to a 27-17 lead late in the second quarter as Timea Gardiner was on fire, scoring 17 of her game-high 19 points in the first half.

Bingham responded to Fremont’s 13-2 run with back-to-back 3-pointers by Holman and Sierra Lichtie to cut the deficit to 29-23 at the half.

Bingham continued to chip away at the lead, and only trailed 38-37 after the third quarter.

The turning point came midway through the fourth quarter when Lichtie and Holman again hit back-to-back 3-pointers to put Bingham ahead 50-45 with 3:36 remaining.

Mason knew there was no way her team was going to surrender the lead again.

“I think it’s because we’ve been in that situation so many times throughout this year, they know how to play in close situations. Almost every single one of our games are close,” Mason said.

Bingham finished the game shooting 54 percent, while Fremont shot 48 percent.

Fremont junior Emma Calvert scored 17 points in the loss for the Silverwolves.

Deseret News 6A All-Tournament Team

MVP — Sierra Lichtie, Bingham

Jaycee Lichtie, Bingham

Timea Gardiner, Fremont

Emma Calvert, Fremont

Ally Blackham, Skyridge

Eleyana Tafisi, Copper Hills