With nine seconds remaining in the game and his team down by one, Brighton senior Bernadin St. Vil stepped to the free throw line with a chance to give his Bengals the lead.
But there was one problem. The 6-foot-5 center isn’t exactly known for his skills at the charity stripe, coach Hugh Coleman said. And he had yet to hit any of his six free throws that day.
Shrugging off his previous failed attempts, St. Vil stepped to the line, netted both free throws, and Brighton (11-2) held on for a 60-59 win over its Boston City South rival Dorchester.
“Our seniors really stepped up tonight,” Coleman said. “All year it’s been our young guys who have led us, but tonight it was our seniors."
Senior center Mitchell Jean-Louis had 17 points and 20 rebounds for Brighton, while sophomore point guard Malik James scored the first triple-double of his career, notching 13 points, 15 rebounds, and 10 assists.
But picking up the team’s 11th victory didn’t look very promising before the start of the game.
Just hours before tip off, Coleman discovered he would be without three of his starters – one because of injury, the other two because of disciplinary actions within the school.
“Once we found that out, we became very uneasy with the situation because it all happened so quickly,” Coleman said. “We called up a few players from JV and asked a lot from our seniors.”
The win ties Brighton with West Roxbury for the second best record in the league behind New Mission, who beat the Bengals twice in the regular season.
Because of weather postponements, Brighton and West Roxbury have yet to play each other this season, but will settle things in a pair of games next week. On Monday (Feb. 14), the Bengals host the Raiders, and Wednesday (Feb. 16) they play at Dorchester.
Several reporters and editors contribute updates, news and analysis to the High School Sports Blog.
- Bob Holmes: A Reading resident (Go Rockets!) and Boston College graduate, Holmes is the Boston Globe High School Sports Editor. We remind you now that his weekly picks are often made in jest so everyone just calm down when he picks against Everett for 11 straight weeks. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeHolmes.
- Craig Larson: A native of West Springfield (Leo Durocher anyone? Tim Daggett?) and Curry College graduate (a proud Colonel!), Larson is the sports editor for the Globe's regional sections: South, West and North, as well as a frequent contributor on the college beat. Abington to Xaverian: it all starts with the schools. Have a compelling story idea? Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeLars.
- Zuri Berry: Berry attended the same high school as sports legends O.J. Simpson and Joe DiMaggio. (Guess which one is his hero.) He's a South Boston resident (formerly of Eastie) and the editor of the High School Sports blog as well as the go-to-guy for everything high school sports on Boston.com. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GlobeSchools for all of the latest updates.
Then there are our fall correspondents:
- Anthony Gulizia | @gulizia_a | Div. 1 football
- Eric Russo | @erusso22 | Div. 2 football
- Stephen Sellner | @stephen_sellner | Div. 3 football
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Div. 4 football
- Greg Joyce | @GJoyce9 | Div. 5 football
- Lorenzo Recupero | @LorenzoRecupero | Div. 6 football
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls volleyball
To reach the high school sports department, e-mail email@example.com.