Ogden • The last time Alta and Bingham played, the Hawks were downed by last-second free throws.
The game was in Trevor Hill’s hands this time. And Alta’s junior point guard didn’t miss.
“This is my third year being here,” Hill said. “I just had to step to the line and be confident.”
The junior went 9 for 9 from the line, hitting big shots down the stretch as the Hawks finished a second-half comeback for a 65-61 win over their South Valley rivals in the first round of the Class 5A state tournament Monday. Down as much as 12 in the first quarter, Alta made coach Jim Barker proud with its composure down the stretch.
It was made all the sweeter with payback for a Jan. 4 loss to the Miners.
“Sometimes you can look at it as, ‘Oh no, here it comes again,’” Barker said. “Or you can look at it like, ‘Let’s go finish the game off.’ We finished the game off and made our free throws.”
Hill helped lead a 19-for-23 effort from the charity stripe, giving the Hawks a 23-17 edge in the final period. The Hawks gave him the ball more often then not at the end of the game, but Carter Heslop and Zach Rollins also were perfect from the line in the game.
Bingham helped by racking up a dozen turnovers, which led to 18 Alta points. Although Ryan Turner and Braxton McKee kept the Miners in it late with long 3-pointers, a turnover with 16 seconds left and Hill’s subsequent free throws sealed it.
But the game hardly was neat for the No. 2-seeded Hawks. Bingham started out hot, hitting 13 of 23 in the first half and beating up the Hawks in the paint and from the 3-point line.
Alta turned it around in the second quarter, cutting the lead to single digits before the half. Landon Albrect was the Hawks’ main weapon, and he attacked the paint for a game-high 18 points going against lanky Miners center Brandon Morley.