Taylorsvile • The Bingham coaches were headed to Chili’s, mainly because it’s open late on Friday nights.

The Bingham players? They planned to celebrate Friday’s 48-40 victory against Copper Hills with a sleepover at Jaycee Lichtie’s house.

“We’re about to go to my house to have a sleepover tonight,” said the sophomore forward, who scored 13 points to send Bingham to its first state final in 11 years. “Every night before a game, we have a sleepover or we’re always at someone’s house before a game.

“We’re just best friends, sisters.”

The Miners (19-6) matched the physical defense of Copper Hills (22-3) from start to finish and made their free throws down the stretch to hold off the favored Grizzlies and set up a Class 6A state final showdown with Fremont (22-2).

Maggie McCord scored a game-high 16 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and had two big baskets in the paint midway through the fourth quarter to break a tie and put Bingham ahead to stay.

Lichtie made four free throws in the final 2:15 to help ice it.

“Earlier in the season against Lone Peak, when it was a tied game and I had a chance to shoot the free throws and missed them both,” Lichtie said. “That was my motivation. … I wanted to prove I never miss free throws.”

Bingham coach Charron Mason fought back tears after the game as she spoke about the bond her players share with each other. Hence the slumber party at Lichtie’s place.

“They love each other so much,” Mason said. “They play so hard for each other. They play hard for their families, they play hard for the school. They play hard for everybody.

“It’s so fun to watch them.”

Eleyanna Tafisi had 12 points but committed two critical turnovers in the final two minutes. Breaunna Gillen had 11 points for Copper Hills, but just two after halftime.

The victory was extra satisfying for Bingham, which let a fourth-quarter lead slip away in a regular-season loss to Copper Hills in December.

“Absolutely,” Mason said when asked about the extra motivation. “We knew that they were a good team. We knew they were going to be tough. They got us last time.”


• Maggie McCord records a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds for Bingham.

• The Miners reach the state championship game for the first time since winning the title in 2007.

• Copper Hills struggles in the post. The Grizzlies are outscored 24-14 in the paint and outrebounded 38-26.