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The City Journals

Up-and-down year ends early in postseason for Brighton girls basketball

Apr 03, 2018 03:46PM ● By Josh McFadden

The Brighton girls basketball team practices early on in their season. Their season ended in the first round of the playoffs. (City Journals)

By Josh McFadden | [email protected]


It was a season of streaks and of highs and lows for the Brighton girls basketball team. The team accomplished some goals and reached the state tournament, where its season ended in the first round.

Brighton lost to East in the its first-round playoff game on Feb. 19, 49-37. By finishing league play with a 4-6 record, the Bengals grabbed the fourth and final tournament berth from Region 7. East, meanwhile, grabbed the No. 1 seed in Region 6, so the Bengals knew they were in for a difficult game.

Brighton was hanging right there with East for three quarters, trailing just 32-28 as the fourth quarter began. Though its offense was struggling, Brighton’s defense was keeping it in the game. Unfortunately for the Bengals, East got hot in the final period and pulled away with a 17-9 run. Brighton held East to less than 40 percent from the field, but the Bengals hit just 35 percent of their own shots.

Sophomore Emily Moss showed why she has a bright future. She scored a game-high 12 points and had three steals. No one else reached double figures in points, but Anabelle Warner had eight points and Naomi Kehl had seven rebounds in the defeat

Brighton won five of its first seven games this season before dropping its next four. From there, the team has back and forth, going 4-4 in its last eight regular season games. The Bengals played solid defense most of the year. They held opponents to fewer than 30 points four times and fewer than 50 points a dozen times.

The Bengals went 9-11 overall this season and must replace their second-leading scorer Sidney Kaufmann, who will graduate at the end of the school year. The team will also miss departing senior Aly Vyfvinkel, who averaged five points per game. The good news is that Moss, the team’s leading scorer, will be back for her junior year. She scored 11.3 points an outing this season and will look to increase her production next season. Kehl and Warner also come back in 2018–19. The duo scored 6.2 and 5.1 points per game, respectively, this past season, good enough for third and fourth on the team. Another sophomore, Nicky Vyfvinkel, will also be counted on for more contributions next season.         

Next season, the Bengals will also look to close out games. During this past campaign, Brighton lost five games by single digits. On the other hand, three of Brighton’s four region wins were by 19 points or more.

Brighton players have more than seven months to work on their game before the returners reconvene in November to make another run at the state tournament.