OGDEN Remington Peck has played a key reserve role for Bingham all season. It seemed only natural the junior forward would eventually be allowed to show what he could do with starter's minutes.
Peck just didn't expect his debut in the starting lineup to come amid the backdrop of a frenzied playoff atmosphere at the Dee Events Center.
"The excitement is crazy," Peck said. "Just a feeling you never feel. It's so much different starting than coming off the bench."
Inserting first-time starters Peck and Blake Krahenbuhl was just the latest wrinkle in Bingham's plan to ensure playoff survival. The Miners have no problem resorting to using unorthdox ideas in game planning if those ideas can exploit an opponent's shortcomings to even the smallest degree.
"We try to find a weakness and make them go to their weakness," Bingham coach Mark Dubach said. "And if they beat us in their weakness, then we lose."
Lineup adjustments worked wonders against Clearfield. With a couple of extra big forwards working alongside talented sophomore center Ben Clifford, the Miners had no trouble keeping Cameron Evans and Nick Thompson out of sync in their 56-38 quarterfinal victory on Wednesday.
Evans and Thompson tallied only 15 points and 11 rebounds between them. With neither one doing much inside, Bingham limited the Falcons to only 10 points in the second and third quarter.
But the victory came with a price. T.J. Ford left the game with 4:34 remaining in the third, after falling and landing awkwardly on a drive to the hoop. Early indications are Ford suffered a hip injury and he will be questionable for Friday's semifinal game against Brighton.
If the senior does not play against the Bengals, the Miners become the ones fighting off an opponent trying to exploit a weakness.
Take Ford out of the equation and Brighton has a definite advantage in the backcourt. The Bengals' guards took turns tormenting Viewmont's defense from the perimeter in their team's 70-52 victory over the Vikings Wednesday.
John Sherwood made four 3-pointers, while Jace Tavita chipped in another pair. Corbin Miller thrust in the biggest dagger from outside, ending the third quarter with a trey that slammed the door shut on a Viemont rally.
The Bengal guards are confident in their ability to match up with anyone including Bingham.
"We got a lot of quickness and our guards are big," Miller said.
If Brighton can shoot from outside against Bingham the way it did against the Vikings, it could very well be the Miners' achilles heel. Bingham's defense has a tendency to weaken further away from the basket. In a game against Copper Hills earlier this season, the Miners gave up 11 3-pointers.
Closing off lanes to the basket could also be problematic when athletic slashers like Tavita and Ali Langford always seem to know just where to blaze a path to the rim.
Still, even with whatever edge the Bengals find in the 5A semifinals, Brighton coach Lyndon Johnson expects Bingham to also find plenty of ways around it."They're athletic and they're big and they're well-coached," Johnson said. "We're going to have to do a good job of preparing for that tomorrow."
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