Prep girls’ basketball: Brighton tops Cottonwood in overtime
Girls’ basketball • Bengals surge after power outage.
Published: February 8, 2013 12:33PM
Updated: February 8, 2013 10:17AM

Murray • While it was far from super, the outcome still made Brighton’s girls’ basketball team feel like champions of the world.

Overcoming a 15-minute delay due to a power outage reminiscent of the Super Bowl, the Bengals once again showed their perseverance in edging host Cottonwood 49-44 in overtime in region play on Thursday. Brighton is now 11-3 in games decided by 10 points or less, including 3-0 in overtime.

“I think we just know how to stay calm and focused,” Brighton’s Alyssa Hirschi said. “We know the nerves; it’s not new to us. All we want is the fist pump. It would be so much more relaxing to blow teams out.”

Trailing for much of the game, Cottonwood had a chance to pull ahead with 2.7 seconds remaining in regulation. However, Christina Schwartz missed the front end of a one-and-one and time expired. The Bengals outscored the Colts 9-4 in overtime, with Lindsey Johnson scoring seven.

The blackout occurred with the game tied 20-20 and 5:18 left in the third quarter. At the time, Cottonwood had used an 11-2 run to tie the game, using its pressure defense to create numerous turnovers.

“I know it sounds crazy, but I told the girls I thought we were the 49ers,” Brighton coach Jim Gresh said. “They were coming at us with the press. Then all of a sudden, we were able to rest a little bit and I thought we got our momentum back. This is a team of fighters, that’s how we play. We always think we have a chance.”

The Colts scored the first point of overtime before the Bengals reeled off five quick points to take the lead for good. Johnson was smooth down the stretch, making all five of her free-throw attempts in overtime and finishing 8 for 8.

In contrast, free throws spelled disaster for the Colts (5-4, 12-7), who went 2 for 6 in overtime and finished only 8 for 18 for the game.

The Bengals (7-2, 14-5) committed 24 turnovers under the Colts’ pressure, but settled down enough to play their kind of basketball.

“We threw our press break out the window,” Gresh said. “I told the girls to make-believe it’s open gym and get to spots. I don’t particularly like [close games], but whatever comes, comes. Man, is Cottonwood tough.”

Brighton, which led 18-9 midway through the second quarter, benefited from several second-chance shots. The Bengals outrebounded the Colts 39-16, with Hirschi pulling down 14 boards and Maddy Chin eight.

Still, Cottonwood rallied to tie the game on Nichole Kristensen’s basket before the power went out. The Colts quickly took their first lead of the game on Brianna Jorgensen’s layup when power was restored.

Johnson and Chin each scored 17 points to lead Brighton, while McCall Christensen added six rebounds. Andrea Brady paced Cottonwood with 17 points and seven rebounds, and Jorgensen and Kari Uncles each had six points.