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CLASS 5-A GIRLS' BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP: Bingham finishes it off
By Maggie Thach
The Salt Lake Tribune
Published February 25, 2007 3:27 am
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2007, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
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TAYLORSVILLE - There's no distracting the Bingham Miners when they have a goal in mind.

After Friday night's semifinal win over Fremont, the players requested they not talk to reporters afterward for interviews. They didn't want to dwell on that win. They wanted to shift their attention to their next opponent: Skyline.

Before facing the Eagles on Saturday at Salt Lake Community College, the Miners' focus was intense, but even before tipoff, senior guard Stephanie Sampson had a good feeling.

Her intuition was right, as the Miners dismantled Skyline 48-28 to win the school's first Class 5-A state title since 1995.

When asked at what point in the game her team knew it would win, Sampson replied: "At the national anthem. We knew it, we just had it."

A Bingham win didn't look so easy when Skyline scored the first four point to start the game. Both teams struggled to get on the board in the first quarter and the score was stuck at 4-2 for about six minutes.

But Sampson's back-to-back three-pointers gave the Miners the momentum they needed.

"I don't think we ever doubted ourselves," said Megan Marks, who had 13 points and nine rebounds. "There's 32 minutes in a game."

Bingham's momentum didn't stop. The Miners went on a 9-0 run in the second for a 17-6 lead.

The Eagles struggled from the field, shooting 25.7 percent in the game, and stayed somewhat close only by making free throws.

It was hard for the Eagles to know who to stop. Sampson hit key threes, Nicole Yazzie made opportune layups and baskets and Marks was the leading scorer.

"With us, you have to guard all of us," said Cami Hymas, who finished with eight points. "At the beginning, we knew if we came together, it was going to happen."

Besides having multiple scoring threats on the floor, the Miners played suffocating defense.

Bingham kept the Eagles scoreless for the last five minutes of the third and didn't let them score more than 10 points in any of the first three quarters.

"[Our defense] was pretty tough," Bingham coach Rand Rasmussen said. "I never dreamed we would have played that well."

With a comfortable 19-point lead halfway into the fourth, Bingham began to stall. And with about a minute left, Rasmussen began employing his reserves.

Even Dyana Thurgood, who has a broken collarbone, got into the game. She was instructed to just stand at the mid-court line. And it was there that she saw her teammates win the fourth state title in Rasmussen's career at Bingham.

"We all did our part and we've been dreaming about this since we were little girls," Marks said. "I'm really happy that I can share it with all 18 girls on the team"

mthach@sltrib.com



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