West Valley City • Hunter can testify: Bingham has one of the toughest backcourts in the state.
Cody Benson, Connor Williams and Jake Bagley each scored in double digits as the No. 3 seeded-Miners took out No. 2 seed Hunter 59-45 in the first round of the Class 5A boys’ basketball playoffs Tuesday afternoon at Maverik Center.
There were times that Hunter threatened, even taking a small lead in the second quarter, but for most of the game Bingham was safely ahead. The Miners didn’t even shoot at a high rate — recording only 30 percent from the field — but a healthy rebounding advantage and plenty of opportunities at the free throw line gave them all the advantage they needed.
“We like contact,” Benson said. “Any time we can sneak some points in at the free throw line, we like that.”
Bingham went 24-for-30 from the line to hop up on the foul-happy Wolverines. Hunter did come up with eight blocks, but it didn’t stop the Miners from attacking — or rebounding.
In the battle of the boards, Bingham had a 49-27 rebounding advantage, led by Durrant Miles’ 15. The edge helped the Miners record 18 points on second opportunities.
Benson led with a game-high 19 points, including a pair of 3-pointers. Williams and Bagley finished with 14 points apiece, with Williams adding a memorable one-handed dunk on one fast break.
Bingham weathered Hunter’s runs, as Dimitri Saliba scored 17 and freshman Noah Togiai hit four 3-pointers. The Wolverines’ toughest rally came in the second quarter, when they went on a 12-1 run. But the Miners fought back to retake the lead at halftime and would never give it up.
In the quarterfinals on Thursday, Bingham will face West Jordan. The Jaguars were a handful in the teams’ last meeting, racking up a 75-40 blowout of the Miners. Bingham is eager for a second shot.
“We’re excited,” Williams said. “They took it to us pretty good last time. We want to come out and play harder. It should be fun.”
Bingham blows by Hunter in first round
The Miners record a 49-27 rebounding advantage over the Wolverines.
Cody Benson leads with 19 points for Bingham, and Connor Williams and Jake Bagley also add 14 each.
Dimitri Saliba scores 17 points for Hunter in the loss.