SOUTH JORDAN — The Alta-Bingham rivalry in football is unmatched. With numerous kids playing multiple sports, the rivalry naturally spills over into basketball.
"There's just a big competitiveness between us. We always play hard against each other every year," said Bingham forward Logan Parker, an all-state player in football as well.
The basketball rivalry has become such an important part of the preseason over the years, the coaches have made it their preseason finale so they can gauge their team against a 5A contender heading into region play.
If Wednesday's annual showdown is any indicator, Bingham is much more ready for the rigors of league play.
The Miners up-tempo style gave Alta fits all night as they shot 54 percent and finished with 32 points in the paint in a convincing 77-63 home victory over Alta.
"They have a really solid defense when you try and set up the ball," said Parker. "But pushing it up and getting everyone moving it kind of puts them on edge and lets us get to the bucket."
Parker finished with 15 points, one of five players to score in double figures for Bingham. He believes past results against Alta had the Miners focused in.
"We always have a strong rivalry in all sports, but in basketball they took it to us in the lowest two levels, sophomore and JV last year. We knew they'd come out strong and knew they could play with us from the confidence of last year," said Parker.
In what was a back-and-forth game early, Bingham closed the first half on an 18-6 run to open up a 38-24 lead. It extended the lead to 21 points midway through third quarter before Alta knocked down some shots and whittle the lead to 57-47 with 6:56 remaining in the game.
The Miners responded with points on seven consecutive possessions to put the game out of reach.
The victory put the wraps on a great preseason for the Miners who head into next Friday's league game at Kearns with a 7-2 record.
"We feel like we need everybody who plays to contribute and contribute in their roles, and all eight guys did that tonight," said Bingham coach Mark Dubach.
For defending 5A state champion Alta, the loss dropped the team to 4-5 this preseason and magnified a lot of its problems.
"We're still struggling to find roles. Last year only three of those guys played, and they were all back-ups so they knew their roles," said Alta coach Jim Barker. "They're struggling to figure out their roles now, having to score a little bit more. We don't have a go-to scorer. Every game is little different and we're struggling with who to go to."
Jarrett Anderson, a junior who didn't play last year, led the way for Alta with 13 points.
Overall, the Hawks were decent offensively shooting 44 percent with seven 3s. Basic execution was the problem.
"The thing we struggled with tonight was we didn't really follow the game plan. We had certain things we wanted to do, but we just didn't follow it. When we did we were fine, when we didn't they made us pay," said Barker.
Alta's coach is excited to see how his team responds. Last year the Hawks closed the preseason with a 69-56 loss to Bingham. They proceeded to win the Region 4 title with a 10-2 record and then went on to win the 5A state title.