The difference I think in the first half is we weren’t quite as physical as Bingham was and that allowed them to take us a little bit out of what we wanted to do what we wanted to. —Copper Hills coach Ben Morley
TAYLORSVILLE — After leading by one entering the final quarter, Charron Mason’s Bingham Miners pulled away late for a 48-40 win over Copper Hills. The win sends the Miners to the 6A championship Saturday where they will face Fremont.
Maggie McCord led the way for the Miners posting 16 points and eleven rebounds. Sophomore center Jaycee Lichtie converted 9-12 free-throws as Bingham advances to a championship game for the first time since 2007.
“These girls love each other so much and they play so hard for one another,” Mason said. “They play hard for their families, they play hard for the school, they play hard for everybody they love each other and it’s so fun to watch them”
Copper Hills got double-digit scoring from Taxis (12) and Gillen (11). The Grizzlies end their season with a 22-3 record.
“The difference I think in the first half is we weren’t quite as physical as Bingham was and that allowed them to take us a little bit out of what we wanted to do what we wanted to,” Copper Hills coach Ben Morley said. “They outrebounded us and we didn’t make enough shots and they made the extra plays and we didn’t.”
Leading 23-21 at intermission, Bingham began to feel the effects of a terrific Copper Hills defense. Elianna Tafisi knocked down a 3-pointer at the 4:40 mark to put the Grizzlies on top, 24-23. Breaunna Gillen hit a step-back 16-footer and Sam Rollins knocked down a pair of charity tosses as Copper Hills led 28-23.
Seeing the momentum shift, Mason challenged her team to play harder.
“They were being really aggressive both in the paint and on rebounds and it frustrated us,” Mason said. “Their hands are in the lane and they are always getting deflections so we had to be more physical.”
As the Miners matched the intensity of the Grizzlies, they also got loose in transition with McCord scoring a pair of baskets and finding open teammates with open looks.
Mason said the ramped up Bingham defense got their offense moving.
“I think our defense changed and once we got on the same page defensively then it just opened Maggie up to run lanes and get our transition game going.”
Sophomore center, Jaycee Lichtie hit 3-4 free-throws, knocked down a basket and hit a pair of critical free-throws with 53 seconds left to up the Miner lead to 45-40.
“Earlier in the season, against Lone Peak, when it was a tie game I had the chance to shoot free throws and I missed them both,” Lichtie said. “So, that was my motivation to make the free-throws to show I don’t miss free-throws down the stretch.”
Bingham tips off with Fremont Saturday at 1 p.m. at Salt Lake Community College.