Boys' basketball: Alta turns to zone defense to defeat Brighton, 59-49
Cottonwood Heights • By any means necessary.
Foul trouble forced Alta into a rarely used zone defense, and the Hawks got to nearly every loose ball down the stretch to hold off host Brighton 59-49 in a Region 3 game Tuesday night.
The Hawks (14-1, 2-0) won their eighth game in a row despite allowing Brighton senior guard Brock Miller to score 35 points.
Trevor Hill and Landon Albrecht, two of Alta's top defenders, went to the bench early in the second half with foul trouble, due almost exclusively to Miller and his aggressive drives through the lane.
Out came the zone, and down went the Bengals (7-8, 1-1).
"When the game gets on the line like it was, these guys rise to the occasion," Alta coach Jim Barker said. "We went to a zone, which isn't something we do a whole lot, and we were able to track him [Miller] better.
"We seemed like we needed to get hit a few times before we responded."
Miller made just two baskets in the fourth quarter and Brighton had few options on the offensive end. Osa Masina and Derek Devashrayee each scored five points for Brighton. Miller had 21 points by halftime, including 15 in a row for Brighton during one stretch. Albrecht had a team-high 14 points for Alta. Zach Rollins had 12 points and Elijah Glissmeyer finished with 11.
Alta trailed by as many as seven points in the first half as it struggled from 3-point range. But Glissmeyer connected on a 3-pointer to tie the score at 30 midway through the third quarter and the tide swung.
"We were down four points, and we haven't been down at half that much this year," Glissmeyer said. "It kinda hit us that we needed to step it up. They're so focused on Zach and Trevor and Landon that when I get pretty wide open and when I make the three it opens it up for everyone."
Three more 3s, including two by Zach Rollins to close the quarter, put Alta ahead to stay. The Hawks scraped and clawed to preserve the lead in the final minutes, epitomized by Glissmeyer's punch-out rebound of a teammate's missed free throw to extend a possession.
Alta closed the game on a 10-2 run over the final three minutes.
Alta 59, Brighton 49
O Alta wins its eighth straight as it overcomes a six-point deficit in the third quarter.
• Brighton's Brock Miller scores a game-high 35 points, including 21 in the first half.
• Landon Albrecht scores 14 points for Alta, which closes the game on a 10-2 run.