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Inside game ignites Bengals

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OREM — The Brighton Bengals played basketball Tuesday night like a bunch of hermits — doing everything they needed to do on the inside.

In leading from start to finish in a 64-58 road win over the Mountain View Bruins, the Bengals scored every point but three in or near the paint. Brighton's only outside basket was a 3-pointer by John Sherwood early in the final period that helped the Bengals hold off a Bruins charge.

"We've got shooters. We just didn't shoot it well tonight," Brighton coach Lyndon Johnson said.

The Bengals survived without a perimeter game because of the penetration of Brad Spence, Michael Hanna and Jeff Wilson. Center Ali Langford, with 22 points, was also more than Mountain View could handle around the basket and in the open court. The Bengals' transition offense was also critical in getting in front and staying ahead. Every run Brighton put together included a basket or two on the break.

"We've got to be able to do that," Johnson said. "We have the athletes where we need to get into that kind of a game if we're going to have a chance to win."

The Bruins had several bright spots in the loss — including a game-high 23 from Taylor Russell and 20 points from senior center Holden Jasper in his first start. However, Mountain View was unable to catch the Bengals because of turnovers and poor foul shooting. The Bruins made only nine of 18 free throws, and several of those misses came on the front end of a one-and-one.

Behind an early 8-0 run, Brighton took a 10-2 lead. The Bruins trimmed the lead to 14-9 at the end of the period when Russell hit his first of five treys. Russell's second three, early in the second period, trimmed Brighton's lead to 19-17. But a put-back basket by Langford in transition moments later put the Bengals up by 10, and a follow-up steal and layup by Abraham Millsap gave the Bengals a 35-23 lead. At the break, Brighton had six players with at least two baskets, while 21 of Mountain View's 24 points came from Jasper and Russell.

A driving layup by Hanna early in the third gave Brighton its biggest lead at 39-26. But the Bruins responded with a 13-3 run to cut the margin to four. Two more transition baskets by Langford pushed the Bengals' lead back to eight. Russell closed the quarter with another bomb, cutting Brighton's lead to five heading to the fourth period.

Mountain View, with a put-back basket by Jasper, closed to within two in the opening minutes of the fourth. Brighton again responded, with Sherwood's three and an old-fashioned 3-point play from Wilson, with an 8-0 run to push the lead back to 10. Two late 3-pointers by Christian Bateman brought the Bruins back to within three with 27 seconds remaining, before two foul shots by Sherwood put the game on ice.

E-mail: jimr@desnews.com