RIVERTON — It was easy to write off Bingham as a 5A afterthought earlier this year when it lost game after game and struggled with consistency.
It's time to start paying attention again.
Bingham backed up its 15-point win over Lehi on Tuesday with a 54-52 win at Riverton on Friday night to improve to 2-1 in difficult Region 4. The adversity Bingham dealt with earlier in the year appears to be paying dividends.
"I'm just really happy for our kids. They've gone through a lot of adversity, we've had to fight through a lot of things, and it's just a really good win for our kids, especially our senior kids," said Bingham coach Mark Dubach.
Bingham was sensational in the back-and-forth fourth quarter, scoring on its final seven possessions and knocking down four 3-pointers in the quarter.
In fact, during one stretch of the wild fourth quarter the teams combined to score on nine straight possessions as the score quickly increased from 45-45 to 47-47 to 50-50 to 52-52 over the final two minutes.
Bingham, however, went ahead for good with 3.9 seconds remaining as Jake Bagley nailed a short baseline jumper after Connor Williams kicked him the ball out of a double team. Riverton had a decent look at a 3-pointer at the other end of the court, but D McLeary's off-balance 3-pointer at the buzzer was too deep.
Dubach was pleased with his team's execution down the stretch.
"It was our struggle when we lost a lot of games, and we've worked hard on trying to focus down the stretch of games and executing plays, and they've done an amazing job. They're good basketball players and figuring things out," said Dubach.
Bagley was one of many heroes in the fourth quarter for Bingham. Cody Benson drained three 3-pointers in the quarter, finishing with a team-high 17 points. Williams, in his fourth game back after sitting out the first part of the season with an injury, scored four points in the quarter and dished out the winning assist.
His return to the lineup has made a big difference to the mentality of the Miners.
"He's good for our kids, he's good to have on the floor, they feed off of his energy," said Dubach of his lone returning starter from last year.
Riverton junior Stephan Holm had a marvelous fourth quarter as well, scoring 14 of his game-high 18 points. Riverton wanted to get the ball in his hands on the inbounds pass with 3.9 seconds remaining, but Bingham's defense blanketed him with two defenders.
Down 11-6 after the first quarter, Bingham used an outstanding defensive effort in the second quarter to take a 23-17 lead at the half. The roles quickly reversed in the third quarter as Riverton regained the 33-32 lead heading into the fourth quarter with a strong defensive effort.
The defensive game quickly became a track meet in the fourth quarter, with both teams knocking down the majority of their shots.
"It's really fun (to beat Riverton), but right now it's just another game and we just have to keep moving on," said Williams.