By Christine Yee
Bengal trivia: Who scored the last basket ever in Brighton’s original gym?
The answer is …
With 4 seconds left, the sophomore forward pushed his way to the hoop for an easy layup to give Brighton the lead over visiting Bonneville in the first round of the 5A state tournament on Wednesday.
Next, No. 11 Brighton (18-6) plays at No. 6 Orem (17-7) at 7 p.m. Friday.
Brighton came out hot with 17 in the first quarter behind three three-pointers from senior Justin Devashrayee and junior Josh Petersen.
But the pace slowed in the second and third quarters as the Lakers grew more confident with outside shots spread evenly among the team. No single player for Bonneville scored in the double digits.
“Don’t dig,” Adam Ponte recalled Coach Garrett Wilson telling them. “We can defend them down low. We got the size.”
It continued to be a struggle as Bonneville outscored Brighton 15-11 and 13-11 in the second half. But Barton and Petersen used their size to aggressively keep the team alive.
In the last 4 seconds, Bonneville had time to get the last shot up but mishandled the ball after crossing halfcourt. Tanner Church seized on the opportunity and dribbled past a defeated Laker guard as time ran out. The B.O.S.S. rushed the team on the court and reveled long after the hoops were drawn up and the chairs put away.
The win sets up another second round game against Orem this school year. The Brighton football team came up short in the fall. The Bengals are looking “to paint the town orange” on Friday night, said assistant coach Ben Matheson, who thanked “the best student section” after the game.
Current and former students took pictures and videos of the Bengal paintings and banners hanging on the wall and from the ceiling that celebrate Bengal achievements over the last 51 years. The Brighton gym will be razed in the summer.
“I’ve practically lived in this gym the last 11 years of my life with my two older brothers [Travis and Derek],” said Devashrayee. “I’m going to miss this place. We gave it the best sendoff that I think we could.”