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High school boys basketball: Bingham crushes Copper Hills to win 5A title

SALT LAKE CITY — About two years ago Bingham coach Jake Schroeder began to think he had the type of team to win it all. On Saturday his team proved him right correct as the Miners thumped Copper Hills 61-44 to capture the 5A state basketball title.

As his players began cutting down the nets in celebration, Schroeder was at a loss for words.

“I’m numb,” Schroeder said. “This is an unbelievable feeling and I’ve always dreamed of this when I was a player at the other end. I’m just happy for these guys. They put in so much work, they trusted the coaching staff and golly, I’m just glad they get to reap the fruits of their work.”

To get by the Grizzlies, Schroeder's team simply did what it's done throughout the 5A state tournament — starting a bit slow, but then ending with speed no other team in the state could match.

Bingham's breakneck pace was never more evident than in the third quarter.

Trailing Copper Hills 24-23 at the half, the Miners managed to outscore the Grizzlies 20-6 in the third quarter to take a commanding 43-30 lead into the final period. As usual, Bingham jump-started itself on the defensive end.

“We just always know that one or two stops and we get rolling,” said Bingham center Yoeli Childs. “Just a couple of break-away lay-ups and we get momentum. We’re a team that plays with rhythm and it worked out for us.”

Topping off the third quarter in style was Bingham forward Schyler Shoemaker, who hit a corner 3-pointer to send the Miners to a team huddle with all the momentum. For the game Shoemaker scored a team-high 16 points on 7 of 8 shooting, earning himself the tourney MVP honor.

“It feels amazing since I wasn’t able to even play last year,” Shoemaker said about winning the prestigious award. “It’s such an honor because there’s so many great players on this team and no way I could have done anything without all of them. It’s all about our team and playing as a team.”

Bingham didn't relent in the fourth quarter, outscoring Copper Hills 18-14 to come away with the comfortable win.

Bingham's most notable player, Childs, scored only nine points but did pull down 12 rebounds while dishing out four assists and blocking three shots. More than contributing to his own stat line, the 6-foot-8 Childs worked as a true leader on the court, according to Schroeder.

“If he wouldn’t have led the way he did we wouldn’t have won,” Schroeder said of Childs. “So Yo(eli) is a huge part of what we did tonight. He was just helping guys. He really took pride in making guys feel comfortable. He made sure everybody was getting better. And when that happens — when your best player does that — it takes a lot of the pressure and the stress off of the other guys.”

For Childs, he was quick to compliment his teammates while pointing out he was part of one of the most complete in-state prep basketball teams in recent memory.

“I think (we’re) one of the most talented teams the state has ever seen,” Childs said. “At the beginning of the year we had really only two guys with varsity experience, so we just kept rolling, kept working in practice, until we got to where we needed to be.”

Copper Hills was led by guards Preston Sanchez and Charlie Olsen, who scored 12 and 10 points, respectively. For the game, the Grizzlies started strong but ran out of gas toward the end.

"That's a great team and we were fortunate to beat them," complimented Schroeder. "But we just got rolling in that second half and I wish I could say it's about coaching, but it's not. It's about these players. They're the ones who put in all the work and earned this thing. I couldn't be happier for all of them. I thought this team had the ability to do this a while ago. But now to make it a reality — I just couldn't be more happy."

Boys 4A All-Tournament Team

MVP — Schyler Shoemaker, Bingham

Yoeli Childs, Bingham

Samuta Avea, Bingham

Preston Sanchez, Copper Hills

Stockton Shorts, Copper Hills

Julian Blackmon, Layton


Twitter: @BrandonCGurney