SANDY — Brighton’s matchup against region rival Bingham Thursday night lived up to its billing.
On paper, the teams appeared evenly matched, and that proved to be the case on the hardwood, with the Bengals eventually pulling out a hard-fought 43-38 victory.
Maddy Chin and Sammie Smith led the Bengals with 10 points apiece, while McCall Christensen chipped in nine. Five of Christense’s points came in the final two minutes when the Bengals were able to finally pull away with a 9-2 run to close the game.
“She stepped up big for us tonight,” said Brighton coach Jim Gresh. “We had a lot of girls step up and make big shots. This was a huge win for us.”
The game was tight throughout.
Brighton led 12-6 after one quarter before Bingham closed the score to 19-18 entering the half. Both teams hit their stride offensively in the third quarter and entered the final quarter tied at 34-34.
From there the game took the form of a defensive struggle. Forced turnovers, multiple jump balls and a good share of fouls defined the final quarter of play.
“That’s what you expect in a game like this,” Gresh said. “You expect a tight game against a great team like Bingham and we got that.”
Bingham took a 38-35 lead early following a Holly Sorensen layup, but that was it for the Miners.
Brighton’s Sammie Smith responded with a jumper before Christensen gave the Bengals the lead at 39-38 with two free throws. Christensen followed that up with a baseline jumper before Alyssa Hirschi closed out the scoring with two free throws with just 10 seconds remaining.
“I’m very happy with how we competed at the end there and for the whole game,” Gresh said. “I don’t know what else to say other than that was a great win against a great basketball team.”
With the win, Brighton improves to 10-4 on the year and 3-1 in Region 3 play. Next up for the Bengals is a road game against West Jordan next Tuesday.
Bingham drops to 10-4 overall and 2-2 in region play. The Miners will square off against Alta at home next Tuesday.