RIVERTON — Region games are usually tougher the second time around.
That's why Brighton head coach Jim Gresh and his Bengal team expected the best Riverton had to offer, and the Silverwolves gave Brighton no less.
Friday night's 50-44 win for the Bengals left Brighton bruised and battered, but also in a tie for best record in Region 2.
"It was a dogfight out there. This is a big win for us tonight." Gresh said.
Brighton lost its first encounter with Riverton at home, in a 48-43 overtime win for the Silverwolves. Both teams won six straight after that initial meeting.
Riverton's first region loss, and Brighton's desire to take back a game it lost at home, set the stage for an intense showdown.
Brighton came out hot in the first quarter behind Deena Jenson. Jenson hit two consecutive 3-pointers midway through the first quarter and gave Brighton a 20-10 lead at the end of one.
Riverton gave chase through the second quarter, initially cutting the lead down to six. Brighton answered quickly with an 8-0 rally and finished the half doubling up on the Silverwolves 28-14.
Riverton had to regroup at halftime, and quickly it became apparent that Riverton's lack of offense in the first half was only a stutter and Brighton would have to weather a storm in the third.
Behind Amanda Hansen, Riverton's physical play and dominating presence sent Brighton reeling.
Hansen had nine points in the third quarter, and Riverton shaved Brighton's 14-point lead to a three-point advantage.
Riverton's inside game stumped Brighton all the way into the fourth quarter.
With 5:30 remaining in the fourth quarter, Riverton took the lead 39-37, and Brighton looked confused.
Gresh kept his players calm and traded the lead with Riverton three times before settling the crowd with effective passing and controlled possessions.
Brighton regained the lead with 1:28 showing and didn't look back.
Vanessa Hutson led the Bengals with 17 points, including one 3-pointer. Coincidentally, Hutson scored 17 points last time in the loss to Riverton.
"I think we'll rest tomorrow, maybe we won't have practice." Gresh said.