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Front & Center Hill

By Thomas Sellers Jr.Brighton No. 1 on defense Brighton No. 10 after ball

Layups, jump shots and even free throws, the rim was unkind to the Brighton Lady Cardinals against the Center Hill Lady Mustangs.
And the game took place in the Brighton Gymnasium Dec. 16 with the supposedly friendly home rims. But the shots of the Lady Cardinals continued to bounce off the cylinder and misfire off the backboard all night long leading to a 58-29 victory for Center Hill.
“Shots not falling and turnovers, we finished with 23 turnovers tonight,” Brighton Head Coach Kent Cates noted. “Along with the shots not falling, you can’t shoot 14 percent and win a ball game.”
The Lady Cardinals did not manage a field goal in the first quarter. But Brighton converted on six free throws to make the score 17-6 after 8 minutes.
Center Hill was ahead 12-6 when Lady Mustang Kameisha Oliver caught the ball from teammate Kierra Golden near the basket for a layup. Oliver drew a foul and converted on the three-point play.
Golden concluded the opening period using a crossover move to a jumper that found nothing but net.
Throughout the first half Golden had her namesake’s touch from the floor making another shot to start the second quarter. Center Hill was ahead 22-6 midway through the period.
The Lady Cardinals defensive intensity picked up neutralizing the Center Hill backcourt of Golden, MacKenzie Fennell and Quinnesha Whiting. During that stretch Brighton attacked on the offensive end outscoring the Lady Mustangs 8-0.
“That we’re not out of a game,” Cates said, “one of our players had 17 rebounds tonight. Lilly Hill grabbed 17 boards tonight.
“If I can get that effort night in and night out from two or three people,” he continued, “we had 44 rebounds tonight and we out rebounded them by at least 15 or 16.”
The Lady Cardinals used rebounds to start fast breaks leading to fouls and a three-pointer from Shayna Johnson to make the score 22-14 with a minute and 45 seconds left in the first half.
Golden ended her team’s drought with a three-pointer. The Lady Mustangs led 27-16 at the break.
In the third quarter Golden drove to the rim for a basket to make the score 35-16. Throughout the third Golden located her post players Oliver and Erin Cross for buckets leading to a 40-18 advantage after three quarters.
The shooting improved for Brighton in the fourth quarter with 11 points. But Center Hill scored 19 points in the final 8 minutes to lock up the win.
Cates noted a lot of his team’s shots were missed because of nerves. Over the holidays he said he’s going to make an effort to make the game more fun for his players to give them a relax atmosphere.
“Just our effort, if we can just continue to give effort, I believe in my heart those shots will start to fall,” Cates concluded. “We’re getting shots and we’re getting shots in the paints. I believe the ball will start the fall and I want it for our girls because we’re a young, young team.”

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December 2013
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