After starting the season 1-2, the Brighton boys' basketball team needed Malik James to elevate his game for the Bengals to be successful, said coach Hugh Coleman. Coleman told James to step up for Thursday night's game against unbeaten New Mission, and the junior guard did just that, scoring 30 points while dishing 12 assists to boost host Brighton to a 79-68 victory over the Titans. ‘‘Malik played his role exactly how we told him,'' said Coleman. ‘‘I've compared him to our Rajon Rondo. He gets guys the ball and when he needs to take over he does that.'' Early in the game James racked up the assists, but at the half the score was knotted at 37. After Nick Simpson (17 first-half points) fouled out in the fourth quarter, James used his scoring to help the Bengals (2-2) put away the Titans (3-1). ‘‘Malik understood he had to take over,'' said Coleman. ‘‘He was the difference between us winning and losing.'' Jason Jones also played a key role for Brighton with 15 points and 15 rebounds.
Brighton 79, New Mission 68
Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, at Brighton
Updated: Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013, 9:11 a.m.