Brighton Edges out Burlington in State Campionship

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A Brighton High School player sets up a three-point shot. Photo courtesy of Natalie Covate.

By Natalie Covate
BU News Service

In a dramatic final minute of the first round of the MIAA State Championship tournament, Brighton High School went from being down by two points to beating Burlington High School with a final score of 64-62 in the last seconds of the game. The team and crowds rushed the court in a victorious dog-pile celebration.

“We didn’t play great,” Brighton High School coach Hugh Coleman said after the game. “I feel good for the moment but I’m not happy. This week, we’re going to practice some regular basketball fundamentals.”

At the beginning of the fourth quarter, Burlington was winning 41-45. Within the first couple of minutes of the quarter, they had carried their lead to 41-50, the largest point gap during the whole game. Brighton began fighting back until the score was tied 60-60 with only 30 seconds left. Brighton’s final basket put them ahead in the last five seconds of the game.

“We proved that we can play against anyone in the state,” Burlington coach Shawn McGuire said. “We’ve been playing this way all year.”

The game was close from the start. Brighton was up 33-27 at the end of the first half. Coming into the second half, Coleman said he told his players to keep up their defensive intensity. McGuire’s team, on the other hand, was focused on improving their 3-point game and concentration.

“We need more movement,” McGuire said. “The players need to know where they are. They’re standing around watching the game happen.”

After today’s loss, Burlington will not be continuing on in the State Championship tournament, but McGuire feels good about next season.

This was an exciting win for Brighton and Coleman says his team is feeling the pressure of the statewide tournament.

“Winning the city championship was just for bragging rights,” he said. “In this tournament, it’s either you win or you go home. We stepped it up enough to get that shot at the end and win.”

Brighton’s next opponent in the tournament has not yet been announced.

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