OGDEN — Even more so than others, basketball coaches love it when a plan comes together.
Because when it does, it makes them and their players look mighty good.
In Bingham's 56-38 win Wednesday over Clearfield in the 5A boys basketball quarterfinals, the Miners' plan certainly came together nicely and it made them look very good.
"Our kids executed what we wanted them to do exactly," Bingham coach Mark Dubach said.
That plan was to take away the Falcons' inside game, get them to abandon their zone defense by making shots early, and win the battle of the boards. The Miners accomplished all three just as Dubach had it mapped out in the play book.
"They're an inside basketball team and they pound the ball inside and they've pounded it in there all year, so our focus was definitely to take that away and allow them to shoot outside," Dubach said.
"We had some different ways we wanted to guard certain guys to take away what they do, and I thought we did a great job of that."
Clearfield's two main guns are 6-foot-6 inch Cameron Evans and 6-7 Nick Thompson. When the Falcons trailed only 18-14 early in the second period, Evans and Thompson had scored 12 of those 14 points. The remainder of the game, however, the Miners didn't give up another basket to Thompson and Evans made only one more shot.
Bingham also owned the glass, outrebounding Clearfield 36-20 and giving up only five second-chance points. Dubach inserted two new starters into his lineup — 6-4 Blake Krahenbuhl and 6-5 Remington Peck — to help defend Clearfield's towering twosome and both had stellar games, combining for 19 points and 16 rebounds.
When Bingham lost to Clearfield four years ago, it was the Falcons' tough-to-penetrate zone that did the Miners in — just like it did to Pleasant Grove in Round 1. But when Bingham nailed three 3-pointers in the first quarter — one each from T. J. Ford, Krahenbuhl and Peck — to take a 13-8 lead, Clearfield quickly changed to a man defense.
"You have to make shots to beat that zone, and we made some shots and got them out of that zone, and that was our goal," Dubach said.
Once the Falcons were out of their zone, Bingham went to work inside with Ben Clifford, Parker Jenkins and Logan Ludwig and scored six straight times on layups to finish the first half on a 14-1 run to take a 32-15 lead into intermission.
"I told the kids that we don't want to get complacent and just try to get up four, five or six. We wanted to make a run on them," Dubach said.
Clearfield started the third period with a 5-0 run, with Jordan Hanson hitting the first of his four 3-pointers, and the Miners didn't score for the first six minutes of the period. But Bingham finished the frame on a 7-0 run to take a 39-20 lead into the fourth.
Behind three more treys from Hanson, the Falcons cut the gap to 47-34 midway through the final period, but the Miners went back to work inside and regained control of the game.
For the game, the Falcons shot only 29 percent from the floor, compared to 47 percent by Bingham.
"I thought we got the ball inside very well and made them defend us," Dubach said.
Top performer: Bingham sophomore Ben Clifford made 6-of-7 shots and scored 14 points. Key stat: The Miners had 16 more rebounds and allowed the Falcons only five second-chance points. Up next: Semifinals, Bingham vs. Brighton, Friday, 4:10 p.m.