2017 Boys Basketball Season in Review

In November 2016, Coach Jacob Schroeder held tryouts for the Bingham High School Boys Basketball team for the 2016-2017 season with one goal in mind: win the state championship. Bingham basketball, fresh off a championship season, felt they had what it took to repeat their run and take the title home again.

They were right. On March 4th, the Bingham Miners beat the Lone Peak Knights in an epic championship game to claim this year’s state championship and win back-to-back titles for the first time since the 1989-1990 seasons. But the path to get them there was not easy.

Soon after tryouts, the newly-selected team participated in the Utah Elite 8 Tournament, a tournament comprised of the best teams from within the state of Utah. After losing in the championship game of that tournament in 2015, Bingham redeemed themselves by taking it all in 2016, edging out region rival Copper Hills High School by a score of 60 to 56, as reported by the tournament’s website.

Soon after that tournament, the Miners participated in the Tarkanian Classic, a tournament in Las Vegas, Nevada, with several premier high schools from around the west coast. After losing their first game in the tournament, Bingham went on to win the consolation championship.

And the Miners were just getting started.

After the tournament in Las Vegas, the season began. On January 6th, 2017, the Miners suffered a small setback. After battling hard, they lost their first region game to the Copper Hills Grizzlies by a score of 59-57 in overtime. But as Bingham usually does, they bounced back. They took this loss in stride, focused on what they needed to change, and they never looked back. In each regular season game after that, the Miners won, carefully grinding away and typically winning by double digits over their region opponents. At the end of the regular season, the Miners took home the region title, but the best prize was yet to come. (Note: the region title was technically shared with Copper Hills as they finished with the same record in region play.)

On February 27, the team officially began their title defense as the state tournament began. After beating Northridge HS and Viewmont HS in their first two games by a combined 48 points, Bingham faced a tough competitor in Pleasant Grove High in the semifinals. After being up by only one point at halftime, it was clear that PG was the toughest test the Miners had faced this season. But Bingham definitely knows how to close out games, eventually winning by a score of 54 to 44.

Suddenly, the Miners had earned themselves in the championship game for the second consecutive year. Their opponent? Lone Peak High School, fresh off a perfect record in their region and performing in a similarly dominant style to the Miners in each of their games leading up to the championship. It was clear that both teams deserved to be there.

The championship game started off slowly, with each team playing tough defense and careful, calculated offense. At the half, Lone Peak was up by a single point with the score at 19-20. The third quarter, however, had many fans believing that Lone Peak might just be too great a foe to overcome. After struggling to make shots and getting called for several consecutive fouls, the Miners were down by eight points as the third quarter expired. But Bingham isn’t a team that goes down that easily.

The fourth quarter started, and the Miners were still trying to figure out how to get out of the hole they had dug themselves into. As the Lone Peak students began to chant “I believe that we will win”, the Miners began to get their game together. After several key stops on defense and some important layups on offense, the Miners found themselves with a one point lead with just over a minute and a half left. As the clock continued downward, the Miners kept going, hitting multiple fast breaks, including a powerful dunk by Dason Youngblood to put the nail in the coffin. “I don’t know if I went up meaning to dunk it, but it just happened. I was just so pumped and it was amazing,” said Youngblood after the game about his play that not only put the game away but also threw the Miner student section into absolute pandemonium. The game ended a 49-42 victory for the Miners, and the season-long quest to repeat as state champions came true. A nearly-flawless season was capped off in the best way. “It’s amazing. It’s the best day of my life,” said Lleyton Parker, who scored 15 points in the victory. “It’s the best feeling I’ve ever had.”