Heading into the Class 5A boys basketball tournament, most spoke of a field involving Lone Peak, West Jordan and American Fork, with everyone else chasing the top three.
With a 62-45 whipping of Region 1 champ Weber on Tuesday afternoon, Brighton served notice that the rest of the state had better take it seriously as a title contender.
At the Maverik Center, the Bengals proved that they are playing their best basketball of the season. Peaking at the right time is the term, and Brighton jumped on the Warriors early and never let them back into the game.
“We are a lot better now than we were early in the season,” Bengals head coach Jeff Gardner said. “We didn’t know our roles as well early on, but we’ve come together at the right time.”
Not surprisingly, Brandon Miller’s play has coincided with Brighton’s improvement. Against Weber, the junior guard scored a game-high 24 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Impressively, he controlled the game with his scoring and playmaking, rotating between being aggressive offensively and setting up his teammates for easy baskets.
Brighton’s defense held Weber to 14 first-half points. The Bengals forced 11 turnovers and led by as much as 24 points in the second half.
A quarterfinal matchup with top-ranked American Fork awaits Brighton. The Bengals received 15 points from Travis Devashrayee.
Brighton makes 13-14 free throws.
The Bengals start the game on a 10-2 run.
Brighton advances to Thursday’s quarterfinal.