Brighton 48, Layton 41

OREM — It wasn't city league or intramurals, but the Brighton Bengals played the first round of the Class 5A state girls basketball tournament Monday at the David O. McKay Center as if it were one.

"We went into the locker room, and some (players) said they were nervous," Brighton coach Jim Gresh said. "I said we were going to relax and have fun."

The inside-outside duo of Valerie Hart, who scored 12 points, and Jara Ludlow, who scored 11, led the Bengals in the 48-41 victory over the Layton Lancers and a berth in the second round and a meeting with Bingham at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Salt Lake Community College.

Playing loose was a lot easier said than done since the Bengals (12-9) were taking on the Lancers, the No. 2 seed from Region 1, and winners of 10 of their past 11.

"If we had to pretend we were playing them in P.E. class or in our own gym, we were going to go out and have a good time," Gresh said.

The Bengals did what their coach asked, and posted the first major upset of the tournament.

"That was the best game she's played all year," Gresh said of Hart, his lone senior. "The last half of the season she's really come on and played fantastic."

The Bengals were enjoying themselves as they led by as many as 22 points in the fourth quarter before the Lancers attempted to make things interesting.

The Lancers trailed by 19 points going into the final quarter, but put up 22 points in the quarter, 10 behind Stewart, who had a game-high 23 points. But it wasn't enough to catch the Bengals.

Hayley Berlin was held to just six points, and all of them came in the fourth.

"I don't know what it was. We were very flat," Layton coach Van Price said. "We started out really hard and worked hard, but it didn't seem like the energy was there until the last three minutes when we were down 20."

With that early energy Price spoke of, the Lancers (14-6) led early at 6-0 with a bucket by Melissa Youngman and two by Stewart.

Brighton (12-9) answered that run with a 10-0 spurt as Leslee Thomas had six of her 10 points in that stretch.

The Bengals went on a 7-0 run that spanned the last basket of the first to the first two minutes of the second. Katie McKeon had a hoop and Ludlow buried the Bengals' only 3-pointer of the game as they led 17-8 and they went on to lead 24-13 at the half.

Defensively, the Bengals held the Lancers to a combined 11 points in the second and third quarters.

"We thought from looking at them they were an inside team," Gresh said. "At first we were going to stop them in the low post, but then we played tough man-to-man."

In other upper bracket first-round games:

MOUNTAIN VIEW 50, RIVERTON 23: Brittany Tressler scored 16 points and Mallary Gillespie added 11 more as the Bruins crushed Riverton. Megan Lay and Tayna Mortimer added six points each for Riverton.

SKYLINE 48; COPPER HILLS 39: Carly Walton scored a game-high 15 points, including eight in the pivotal third quarter as the Eagles advanced to the second round.

Skyline's Jenny Jensen chipped in with 12 for the Eagles, while Kayli Hillyard led Copper Hills with 12.

BINGHAM 39, OREM 25: Bingham broke open a five-point halftime lead by holding the Tigers scoreless in the third quarter en route to the 14-point victory.

Emily Johnson led the Miners with 10 points, and Tiffany Peterson led Orem with 11 points.

The Miners will be without Erin Page, their leading scorer, as she was ejected after being assessed a flagrant foul and by UHSAA rule, is forced to miss the next game.


E-mail: jhinton@desnews.com