SOUTH JORDAN — Junior forward Logan Parker made sure the 5A state tournament game between Bingham and Lone Peak didn't go like they had in the past.
Parker came off the bench and scored 13 points and pulled down seven rebounds as Bingham escaped a first-round upset with a 64-53 over its three-year nemesis.
"The playoffs are a whole new level," said Parker. "I just wanted to step up in this game."
Lone Peak had ended Bingham's season for the past three years. This year, the tables were turned and Bingham was the favorite. Parker scored eight of his points in the third period when the Miners built an 11-point lead.
"Logan was tremendous off the bench," said Bingham coach Mark Dubach, whose team improved to 21-1 overall and advanced to today's quarterfinal game against Fremont at Weber State's Dee Events Center.
Parker entered the game late in the first quarter when starter Michael Arnell got into foul trouble.
"He made the most of his opportunities," Dubach added.
The same could be said for the rest of the team. Center Ben Clifford scored 18 points, and Nate Girsberger and Shad Sommerville each had 12. Bingham shot 40 percent from the field, and Girsberger nailed four treys, as Bingham connected on 7-of-16 shots from long range.
Ironically, that's usually Lone Peak's forte. The Knights, who finished the season with a 17-6 record, were led by the uncanny shooting abilities of freshman Nick Emery and senior Tannon Pederson. Emery finished with 22 points and Pederson 17.
"How many did they have?" asked Dubach.
It just seemed that way because many of their baskets were difficult shots that were contested or came from well beyond the 3-point line.
Despite their point totals, Emery and Pederson both had off nights shooting the ball. Emery was just 6-of-18 from the field, with Pederson 5-of-15. Dubach said their misses helped Bingham finally pull away.
"Our defense got some long rebounds and us some easy baskets (on fast breaks)," he said.
Bingham didn't attempt any special defenses to try to stop Lone Peak's big scorers, but the Knights tried their best to keep Clifford from getting the ball. Clifford picked up most of his points (11) in the second half and hit 6-of-7 free throws late in the game to secure the lead.
"You have to play at a high level for four quarters to beat that team," said Lone Peak coach Quincy Lewis.
Lewis also figured Lone Peak would have to shoot at least 40 percent from the 3-point line to have a chance at an upset. Instead, the Knights were 8-28 (28.6 percent).
"We started out OK, but there was about a four-minute stretch (in the third quarter) when the shots didn't go down," he said.
Bingham's biggest lead was 15 points — when Girsberger and Clifford opened the fourth quarter with consecutive 3-pointers. The closest Lone Peak got after that was eight points, and Girsberger ended that threat with another trey.
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