South Jordan • Many teams preach the importance of playing hard on defense, but the Bingham Miners certainly practice it.
From regularly stepping into passing lanes to repeatedly diving on the floor for loose balls, it was apparent Thursday night why the Miners are surrendering just over 32 points per game this season. This time they knocked off the Syracuse Titans 50-36 in their final nonregion game of the season. Bingham remained undefeated with the win.
"We know that defense wins games," said Jillian Powell, who led the Miners with 14 points, all in the first half. "We talk a lot, we know where each other are so even if we do get beat, we know we have help side. … I think defense is what won that game for us."
Thanks to gritty play on the defensive end of the floor in the second quarter, Bingham turned a four-point lead into a 13-point edge heading into halftime. Syracuse cut the lead to nine in the third quarter, but the Miners made sure the margin never got smaller than that.
"I’m more concerned about defense because what we teach here is that offense is white collar, defense is blue collar," said Bingham coach Rand Rasmussen. "When you have a bad day shooting, that happens, but there ain’t no excuse for not playing as hard as you can on defense."
Though he’s pleased with his team’s perfect record heading into region play, Rasmussen’s excitement is measured, as he recognizes the Miners compete in a tough region. He pointed to American Fork and Riverton as two teams that could knock Bingham from the heights it has reached thus far. Boxing out and poor foul shooting are two areas he feels need particular improvement.
"I think we have a lot of things that still have to be fixed, but I’m happy that we’re still winning when we have things that have to be fixed," Rasmussen said. "To sit there and be undefeated in the preseason going into region is a great thing but I’m lookin’ down the road, and if we don’t fix some of these things it’s gonna be a short stay at the tournament if we make it."
Takenna Hamblin led Syracuse with 13 points.
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