WORCESTER – Last year's trip to the Division 2 state championship didn't end as planned for Brighton. But Saturday's trip to the DCU Center was much different as the Bengals won their first state title in school history with a 59-41 win over South Hadley.
After a thrilling semifinal win over Martha's Vineyard, coach Hugh Coleman stressed the importance of getting off to a quick start and keeping the momentum down the stretch. The Bengals did just that as they led 19-10 after the opening eight minutes, finishing the quarter on a 7-0 run.
Malik James took over in the second frame, scoring 8 of his 16 points. South Hadley's Cameron Earle (16 points) helped keep the game close as he chipped away with 11 points, including two 3-pointers, in the first half.
Brighton was ahead 32-22 at the half and kept the energy in the third, holding the Tigers scoreless for over 2 minutes, part of a 12-2 stretch for the Bengals.
The Tigers fought to keep their hopes alive, but Nick Simpson's 7 fourth-quarter points helped Brighton finally get over the hump and finish the season as Division 2 state champions.
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 email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @GlobeSchools for all of the latest updates.
Then there are our winter correspondents:
- Emily McCarthy | @EmilyMcCahthy | BPS correspondent
- Jake Fischer | @GlobeFischer | Boys basketball
- Michelle Fenelon | @michfenelon | Girls basketball
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Boys hockey
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls hockey
To reach the high school sports department, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.