The Brighton Bengals took an educational approach to its first missed opportunity to clinch Region 4 last Friday in a 3-2 loss to Alta. They learned they need to give a game their all.
" I feel real happy about what happened this afternoon. We put more energy into this game than we have (in a game) in a long time," said Brighton head coach Tom Cushing about his squad's 2-1 shootout win over Hillcrest. "I was concerned about whether we knew what it takes to win a tournament-type game and that's what this game was. Defensively, we worked really hard."The victory improves Brighton to 10-2 in region play, good enough to clinch the crown while Hillcrest falls to 9-3 heading into the playoffs.
The Huskies managed the game's first score in Wednesday's muddy conditions when a long shot by Mark Degn took a strange hop and skidded by keeper Chris Martin. Ben Huber tied the game on a cross from Jordan Labrum on the right side to complete the only regulation scoring in the contest.
In the shootout, each team scored its first shot, but the Huskies were blocked on their second attempt and hit the bar on their third while Bengals Labrum, Dave Huber, Justin Bryner and Mike Elliott each fired goals giving the game and region title to Brighton.
"They showed they could raise their level of play, that's what I was happy about," Cushing said of his players.
Despite the loss, he thinks Hillcrest is among the contenders for the state title.
"They are really athletic. Zane Davis is the best goalie in the state. Sometimes, he is almost impossible to score against."
Brighton will open post-season play against the Region Three fourth-place team, Kearns or Granger, while the Huskies will draw the team that finishes higher in the final standings. In other prep action:
Alta 2, American Fork 0: After a scoreless first half, Mason Eves scored on a penalty kick and a free kick to lead the Hawks. Brandon Russell recorded the shutout.
Mountain View 3, Orem 1: The Bruins made a date for a play-in game with Jordan by tilting the Tigers. Two penalty kicks from Mike Van Dyke and a single goal from Rory Sorensen sealed the win.
Granite 2, Woods Cross 1: J.D. Barker and Jordan Law each found the back of the net to help the Farmers down the top-ranked Wildcats. Goalkeeper Nick Browne had an outstanding shutout until the final minutes with a Mark Morris goal for Woods Cross.
Box Elder 17, Bear River 3: After losing to the Bears a day earlier, the Bees were extra motivated as they rolled to a win that handed the Bees a region title. Kevin Peterson, Carlos Rodriguz and Kevin Johnson combined to go 9-for-9 in the game. Wick Udy collected 4 RBI.
Dixie 9, Pine View 4: Doug Jolley pounded a double and a two-run homer to help the Flyers to a road victory. Ryan Rosebyer pitched for the win.
Gunnison 26, North Summit 3; Gunnison 16, North Summit 1: The Bulldogs made a laugher of a double header against the Indian Braves, out hitting them 38-5 in the two games.
Northridge 7, Layton 5: In a make-up game, five Knight runs in the sixth inning kept the Lancers winless. Carrie Tarrent and Melissa Monroe knocked in two RBI each for Northridge.
Roy 7, Weber 6: In a 10-inning affair, the Royals kept up in the region title race with a survival win over the Warriors. Roy is now 9-2.