Less than five minutes into the 5A state championship game, it was clear that the state's most-awaited matchup was going to be a mismatch.
All season long the second-ranked and undefeated Bingham Miners were looked at as the best team to give top-ranked and two-time defending state champion Mountain View its toughest in-state battle.But when the two teams met on the floor at Salt Lake Community College Saturday with everything at stake, the Bruins showed why they are ranked in the top 10 in the country after blitzing the Miners, 62-33.
Mountain View scored on its first eight shots from the floor, led 16-4 with 3:20 to play in the first quarter and rarely had problems with Bingham's vaunted full-court pressure defense. The Bruins used their clear height advantage to see over the press and also score consistently on the inside over the vertically challenged Miners.
"It was over just like that," said Bingham head coach Rand Rasmussen. "We were just thoroughly dominated, starting with the coaching and then on down from there."
It didn't help that the Miners couldn't buy a basket either. While Mountain View was shooting 65 percent from the floor for the game, Bingham was 3-of-15 in the first half and finished below 30 percent.
Paced by Erin Thorn's 15 points, Mountain View led by 10 after one quarter and 35-12 at halftime. The Bruins built their biggest lead at 55-22 midway through the fourth quarter after a pair of layups by Thorn. Heather Cheesman added 14 points for the Bruins, while Michelle Powell topped Bingham with nine.
Mountain View coach Dave Houle gave some credit for his team's victory to his brother Scott, who took his coaching staff from Orem to the Bruins' practices to help them prepare Bingham's press. Orem lost to Bingham by one point in a semifinal game on Wednesday.
"Our coaches prepared us so well for this game," said Bruins guard Lisa Osguthorpe while sitting on the floor and soaking up the feelings of her third championship.
Houle, however, did not expect the start his Bruins gave him.
"Sometimes you wonder about whether you'll come out tight or loose," he said. "But going out to (the Tournament of Champions) in Santa Barbara prepared us for this game."
Some thought going into the game that if Bingham caught an early lead, Rasmussen would have his team stall, a tactic he's done successfully in the past. But with the Miners' slow start, all thoughts of that went out the window.
"Our No. 1 goal was to stop their break and don't give them any threes," said Houle. "We were prepared whether they ran or stalled."
"We felt we would be better off playing them straight up. We got to 23-0 playing straight up," said Rasmussen. "I don't know if we'd ever beat them."
Not this year, anyway.