We've always been interested in the team concept where it's not one person who's always touching the ball. And we're all gonna step up when something's gotta be done. All of us can step up and score. —Bingham's Holly Sorensen
TAYLORSVILLE — If the Granger High girls basketball team was Cinderella, well, then Bingham got a chance to play the part of those wicked stepsisters who wanted to deny poor little Cindy an opportunity to go to the big ball.
And oh brother, did the Miners play their part well.
A big and brilliantly balanced Bingham High ballclub shattered that glass slipper on the Lancers' Cinderella season by dealing Granger a decisive 56-40 defeat in Tuesday's opening round of the 5A girls state tournament at Salt Lake Community College.
Holly Sorensen, a 6-foot-1 senior, scored 10 points to lead a multifaceted Bingham attack that featured six players who had between six and 10 points as the Miners (13-8) advanced into Thursday's 5A quarterfinals against Fremont — and sent the Region 2 champion Lancers back home after a much-too-short trip to the postseason dance.
"We've always been interested in the team concept where it's not one person who's always touching the ball," Sorensen said. "And we're all gonna step up when something's gotta be done. All of us can step up and score."
Junior guard Marlee Malohi added nine points, with sophomore guard Madison Loftus and 6-foot sophomore Leya Harvey contributing eight points apiece. Senior guard Molly Erickson and 5-11 senior Sheradyn Parker scored six points each for Bingham.
"Whether it's for the championship or for any other game," Harvey said, "we just want to play our game. So we just try to focus on us and do what we need to do. And when someone makes a shot, then the whole team feels good about it.
"I think Granger's a great school and a great team, but we just want to focus on us and keep playing."
The Miners broke away from a narrow 9-7 lead after the first quarter by building a 26-12 halftime margin, then extended their bulge to 25 points, 45-20, late in the third period and never looked back.
"Teamwork and defense," Bingham coach Charron Mason said of the keys to Tuesday's impressive victory. "I thought we played a really good defensive game and we just worked really hard. I mean, Granger is a good team so we had to really work and prepare. It was a fun game, a real fun game.
"They've had a great season and they had a much better record than we did going in (to the tournament)," she said of the Lancers. "It could've gone either way, you know, so I was real proud of our girls and how they played. I mean, the state tournament is always different so I was very impressed with them.
"This team, I feel like they've done that all year," Mason said of her ballclub's balanced scoring. "It's always somebody different that maybe gets that shot but they don't care who gets the credit. They just want to win and they want to play their best, and it's been so fun to coach them. ... They're such a fun group of girls, a great group of girls, very good girls, so it's been fun for us."
Jessica Matheson scored 13 points, a game high for Granger, which won a school-record 16 games and wound up 16-6 overall. Kelsie Morandy added nine points and Rachel Taliulu seven for the Lancers, who managed just 12 first-half points and had only 22 after three quarters to see their Cinderella season come to an abrupt end.3 comments on this story
"We've got to get to the point now where we're not just happy to be here," Granger coach Aaron Cousins said. "We've got to start winning games in the state tournament, but that doesn't diminish what these girls did. These girls had an amazing season, and our senior leadership was amazing. From the first day of summer work up until now, those seniors were there pushing everybody to get there all along.
"We have an infusion of talent and we're so young; we only lose three seniors, so this isn't the last time you'll hear from Granger. We're coming back. We're coming back.
"Our shots didn't fall tonight. ... Sometimes shots fall and sometimes they don't. And tonight was one of those nights where shots didn't fall for us," he said. "They're huge; we're not big. And our girls, we will always be smaller so we have to be scrappier. We didn't have that tonight."