Unbeaten, top-ranked and defending champion Bingham opens play in the state 4A girls' basketball tournament Tuesday night by hosting one of the four first-round playoffs.
The Miners, 20-0 on the season and winners of 33 straight, will take on Roy at 6 p.m., with Skyline and American Fork meeting at 8 p.m. All first-round games are being hosted by regular-season region winners, with other sites at Weber, Brighton and Orem.At Weber, the Region One champs will take on Hillcrest at 8 p.m., while Mountain View and Alta battle at 6 p.m. At Brighton, first-year Hunter will take on the Bengals at 6 p.m., and Viewmont tackles Taylorsville at 8 p.m. In Orem, the Tigers play Olympus at 6 p.m., with the nightcap pitting West Jordan against Bonneville at 8 p.m.
Winners at each site will play Wednesday at 8 p.m., with losers meeting at 6 p.m. The teams coming out of each site advance to Weber State University on Friday and Saturday.
Four of Bingham's five starters from last year are back, including BYU-bound all-stater Debbie Dimond. Fellow seniors Kae Cee Arnold and Jenni Johnston, along with junior point guard Denise Parker, also started last season, and senior Laura Applegate has taken over at the off-guard position.
Coach Rand Rasmussen, who has a record of 43-1 since taking the helm at Bingham last year, says his team "still hasn't peaked. We're still not hitting on all cylinders yet, so we've got some work to do this week."
Besides the Miners, other possible candidates for the finals include Weber, which returns all five starters from a year ago; Mountain View, led by talented Kim Henry; Brighton, the Region Two champ with three returning players; Viewmont, with center Jennifer Jones and forwards Mandy Miller and Heather Le Mmon leading the way; and always-tough American Fork, a team that gave Bingham its toughest game of the year. Orem will also be a strong contender.