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High school girls basketball: Brighton Bengals pull out sensational win over Cottonwood

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 5 2015 1:27 a.m. MDT

as Alta and Brighton girls play at Alta.  Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2011.  (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News) (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News) as Alta and Brighton girls play at Alta. Tuesday, Feb. 1, 2011. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News) (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — In a thriller at Cottonwood High, the Brighton Bengals pulled out a sensational overtime victory over the Cottonwood Colts, 49-44, Thursday night. This game had a little bit of everything, including the feeling of a Super Bowl hangover.

Lindsey Johnson scored seven of Brighton's nine points in overtime, including four clutch free throws in the final minute, to give the Bengals (7-2, 14-5) their third overtime victory of the season while handing the Colts (5-4, 12-7) their second overtime loss on the season.

“I don’t think about anything," Johnson said when asked about the extra pressure of going to the line in intense situations. "I try to envision I’m at practice.”

The strategy worked.

Thursday's game was delayed for 11 minutes early in the third quarter when the entire school lost power and the lights went out — reminiscent of last Sunday’s Super Bowl blackout.

When the lights went out, “I thought of San Francisco. I told our team we were the 49ers,” Brighton head coach Jim Gresh said. “We did get extra rest, and got our momentum back afterwards.”

The Bengals' stifling defense held the Cottonwood Colts to four points in the overtime period.

The Bengals shot 86.7 percent from the line (13-15) to overcome the Colts' constant comebacks.

Cottonwood was only down 20-16 at halftime but turned up the gas in the third as it came out of the locker room with an Andrea Brady jumper, followed by an excellent defensive steal and layup by Nichole Kristensen to tie the game at 20 just before the lights blacked out the arena.

The Colts took their first lead of the game when play resumed, and would exchange baskets the rest of the quarter as the Bengals ultimately took a 30-28 lead heading to the fourth.

The Colts came out on fire within the first five minutes of the final period as it hit three 3-pointers, two by Kari Uncles and one by Kristensen, in an 11-6 run to lead 39-36.

The game was tied at 40 when a Cottonwood player was fouled with two seconds left. However, she missed a one-and-one and a put-back attempt was unsuccessful at the buzzer to send the game to overtime.

In overtime, it was all Johnson as she willed her team to outscore the Colts 9-4.

She started the period with a three-point play, followed by a Maddy Chin jumper, and then hit four consecutive free throws to seal the big win.

“The lights going out was a first for me in a game. I had fun with it and think it helped lighten us up as we came back with more energy,” said Johnson.

Chin and Johnson carried their team on their backs all night long. Chin finished with 17 points and seven rebounds, while Johnson added 17 points on 8 of 8 free-throws shooting.

Alyssa Hirchi was great on defense all night for the Bengals as she finished with four points, a team-high 10 rebounds, two steals and a blocked shot. The Bengals pounded the boards all game as they racked up 23 rebounds — creating many second-chance opportunities.

Uncles finished with six points for the Colts, while Brady scored a team-high 18 points. Kristensen finished with five points.

“This was our third overtime game of the year, and we believe we have a chance if it’s close,” said Gresh.

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