High school basketball: Bengals contain Summer Yack, but Miners win
SOUTH JORDAN — The Bingham Miners are perfectly content to share playing time, attention and most importantly the ball.
All-state point guard and team captain Summer Yack scored no points in the first half of Bingham's 55-34 win over Brighton, but Rand Rasmussen said that didn't worry him at all.
"We're going to try to play with the open man," he said. "There are so many good coaches out there, that if you have one player who scores points, they can devise something to bug them. When you have multiple scorers, I think it's harder to defend."
His players said they prefer to spend short bursts on the floor as it gives more girls the opportunity to contribute.
"I like it," said captain Ashton Henderson, a junior who finished with five points. "Just being able to get all of our team in and being able to get fresh legs every couple minutes, you can play at a faster pace."
Adds Madison Aulai-Roe, " I like how he subs us because we get a fresh, new pair of legs, and it's a good experience for all the girls."
It was harder for the Bengals, who are a quick, athletic squad, to contain the Miner offense. They managed to keep it close in the first half with Bingham leading at the break 21-16 thanks to back-to-back buckets by Shelby Richards — one put-back and a 3-pointer.
Yack gave the Miners a quick start in the third quarter, and they never really relinquished the momentum as they extended the lead by having nine players contribute to scoring.
"She's very unselfish," Rasmussen said. "She's already committed to SLCC. All she cares about is us winning the game."
And while it is just a preseason game, Rasmussen told his players the fact that the Bengals were ranked in one of the papers made the game that much more important.
"We played hard and they played hard," said Jillian Powell, another junior captain. "We've been preparing for every team that comes up."
Rasmussen said he told the girls it was a big game as one paper had the Bengals ranked as high as No. 5. He also said facing a tough coach like Brighton's Jim Gresh increases the intensity level.
"I like the big games," he said. "I like the kids being in those kinds of situations."
Brighton was led by Maddy Chin, who finished with a game-high 14 points and was stellar in the paint. Point guard Ali Hahn battled foul trouble and had to sit much of the second quarter and most of the third quarter, but she still managed to score 10 points.
The Miners were impressive defensively, but they were almost perfect from the free-throw line, hitting 14-of-15 attempts.
Why so consistent at a time when most teams are still finding their shooting rhythm?
"We shoot a lot," said Powell and Aulai-Roe simultaneously.
When Rasmussen was asked why the players were so consistent from the free-throw line, he smiled.
"There is a punishment called 5 a.m."