SOUTH JORDAN — American Fork overcame some things it wasn't used to seeing and utilized timely 3-point shooting to take a key region win over Bingham, 53-36, Friday night. The win gives the Cavemen second place in Region 4 with just one game remaining in the regular season.
“This was a very good win for us on the road against a quality team that is right up there with us in the standings,” said American Fork coach Doug Meacham. “I liked how our guys stayed composed when Bingham threw some different stuff at us.”
The first unusual thing American Fork dealt with Friday came midway through the first quarter. With the Cavemen holding a 6-3 lead, Miner coach Mark Dubach decided to slow things considerably and had his team hold the ball on the perimeter for almost three minutes until the Miners ultimately made a move toward the basket.
“You have to be ready for anything with coach Dubach — he’s like that,” Meacham said. “He likes to throw things in to keep you off balance and he really challenged us tonight.”
Bingham took an early 7-6 lead in the second quarter, but it was all American Fork after that point.
The Cavemen used a 15-0 run to finish out the half and take a commanding 21-7 lead into the locker room. Senior guard Kyle Line keyed the run with eight points and two 3-point baskets during the run.
Line came into the game averaging just over six points a contest, but finished with a game-high 19 points and five 3-point buckets.
“Kyle has a real smooth shot and it was really going for him tonight, which obviously helped us a ton,” Meacham said. “It’s great having other guys step up and I thought Kyle picked his spots well and really played a great game for us tonight.”
After using delay tactics in the first half, Bingham came out in the second with a full-court press that caused the Cavemen trouble early. But they were eventually able to adjust. Line hit two consecutive 3-point buckets to end the third quarter to put American Fork up 38-19 and all but finish the Miners off.
“It was a great learning experience for us to learn how to play with a big lead, but to still play aggressive in the second half,” Meacham said. “I think we got a little too passive when Bingham started to press us, but we adjusted and I’m glad we were able to see the different things Bingham threw at us and this will make us better.”
With the win, American Fork improves to 14-8 on the year and 6-3 in region play. It will finish off the regular season Tuesday against Pleasant Grove at home.
Bingham falls to 14-8 on the year and 5-4 in region play and will host top-ranked Lone Peak to finish out its regular season.