SOUTH JORDAN — Summer Yack's goal each game is simple: play her way onto the bench.
"We want everyone to get a chance to play," said Yack, who helped get the starters off the floor with a 21-point performance in Bingham's 68-52 win over Alta on Wednesday night. "Tonight was a team effort. We just try to spread the ball around and whoever is open will shoot."
Quite often that was Yack, who helped the Miners improve their record to 8-0. And playing well enough means younger players get a shot at varsity time, she said.
Bingham head coach Rand Rasmussen said he hopes giving everyone the chance to play ensures Bingham has depth and stays competitive — regardless of who they lose with graduation.
"It's the only way to build depth in your program," he said. "Three minutes in a varsity game is worth five junior varsity games."
The game was close during the first half, although Bingham always controlled the tempo and momentum. Bingham led 33-26 at halftime.
Yack opened the third quarter with back-to-back 3-point shots, while Jillian Powell grabbed three rebounds in that first minute and a half.
Alta senior Makenzie Morrison kept the Hawks in the game with 17 points and solid defense, but the Hawks seemed lethargic and almost intimidated by the Miners' physical style of play during stretches in the third quarter.
"I don't know," Alta head coach Kristi Jensen said of what happened to the team in the second half. "They're a really young team and their mistakes and struggles I'm hoping to chalk up to youth. … Maybe the inability to understand the reality of a Bingham."
She said the team told her after the Riverton game, in which they came from behind to win two weeks ago, was the toughest defense they'd ever faced.
"I hope all of this is helping them," she said of the Hawks' tough preseason schedule. "Most of them have never played at this level so they're learning what it's like. … They're in a big-time learning process. It hurts, losses like this hurt, but I think it's good for us."
While the Miners and Hawks are no longer in the same region, there is still a rivalry that brings a little more emotion to the game.
"Bingham and Alta will always be a big rivalry, regardless of the sport," said Rasmussen. "They're so well-coached and their players are always prepared. I would always play them."
Part of the allure has to be playing against the state's reigning 5A MVP in Morrison, who will play at BYU next year.
Yack said several girls hoped to earn the defensive assignment of guarding Morrison, but Ashton Henderson, a junior captain, and Maddie Aulai-Roe, also a captain, were given the assignment of trying to contain her.
"We had four or five kids saying, 'Let me take her,' " said Rasmussen. "I don't know if they could guard her, but they want to try and I like that."
Yack commended her teammates on their effort.
"It was so exciting," she said of the win. "They're such a good team. And such a good team effort for us. Ashton and Maddie did a great job. But they bring it every day."