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WESTMINSTER – The Brighton high school boys basketball team grew up in a big way Jan. 27. The Bulldogs held off a resilient Westminster squad, holding on for a 62-57 victory and picking up their …
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WESTMINSTER – The Brighton high school boys basketball team grew up in a big way Jan. 27.
The Bulldogs held off a resilient Westminster squad, holding on for a 62-57 victory and picking up their first win in the Class 5A East Metro Athletic Conference.
“They grew up,” Brighton coach Rolando Davila said. “I challenged the guys (Thursday), they responded and that is part of growing up.”
It wasn’t easy, as the Wolves just wouldn’t go away, especially with the sharpshooting of Erick Jones. Jones, who had a game-high 21 points, hit a trey and found freshman Sammy Barajas for another 3-pointer to cut the deficit to three points with 50 seconds left in the contest. But Brighton hit its free throws down the stretch to seal the victory.
The win ended a five-game losing streak for the Bulldogs and gave the team some confidence as they continue in league play. The Bulldogs were on the road Feb. 1, after press time, at Northglenn and then host league-rival Adams City Friday, Feb. 4.
“We needed this win,” Davila said. “Winning isn’t easy, it takes work, and the guys worked for this win.”
Westminster came of the gates quickly, with big shots from Thomas Kennedy and Armando Gomez to give the Wolves an early 9-3 advantage. But foul trouble became a factor, with Gomez having to leave the game with a pair of early fouls. Brighton’s Sean Wadsworth hit a trey to cut the lead to 15-13 after the first quarter.
The Bulldogs opened the second with an 11-4 run, taking advantage of their size in the post. Six-foot-4 Brett Vonau scored on back-to-back putbacks to force Westminster to call a timeout. The Wolves answered with their own run to end the quarter. Kennedy scored a fast-break basket and then drained a 3-pointer as the two squads ended the first half tied with 28 points each.
Davila challenged his squad at the half, and the Bulldogs responded with a 12-point run. D’wayne Galery hit a trey, while Wadsworth and Vonau each added a pair of baskets.
However, the Wolves weren’t going away especially with Jones leading the charge. The junior guard and Dre Gayton combined to score seven points in 10 seconds. Jones also added two big treys late in the quarter to cut the deficit to 50-47 going into the final period.
“It was a fun game. Props to Westminster. They weren’t going anywhere,” Davila said. “Our guys played with a lot of heart, and they found a way to win.”
Wadsworth and Vonau each had a double-double for Brighton. Wadsworth finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds, while Vonau had 16 and 11.
Senior Lorenzo Wilson gave Westminster valuable minutes in the second half, pulling down seven rebounds in the contest – including five on the offensive side.
Westminster (4-8 overall, 0-2 5A in the East Metro Athletic Conference) will look to end its three-game slide this week, with four games on the schedule.
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