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Brighton’s icy second half erases close first half performance against rival Lady Cougars

By Thomas Sellers Jr.Girls Collins three pointer Girls Howard drive Girls Makayla Rose rebound

Brighton Lady Cardinal Bailee Beard locks down defensively on Munford Lady Cougar guard Kierra Richardson Friday night in the Brighton Gymnasium. Richardson was able to get free in the second half hitting three treys in Munford's 49-30 win.

Brighton Lady Cardinal Bailee Beard locks down defensively on Munford Lady Cougar guard Kierra Richardson Friday night in the Brighton Gymnasium. Richardson was able to get free in the second half hitting three treys in Munford’s 49-30 win.

Brighton Lady Cardinal Head Coach Kent Cates stood outside his locker room with a puzzled look on his face.
Several of his players might have been just as dumbfounded at their 9-point second-half effort against the rival Munford Lady Cougars. In the first 16 minutes of the contest Friday night, Lady Cardinals found success making layups and jump shots to make the Brighton Gymnasium scoreboards read 22-21 in favor of Munford. But the Lady Cougars outscored Brighton 27-9 in the second half to win 49-30.
“It was not making shots,” Cates identified as the lynchpin to the downslide. “We only had about 11 to 13 turnovers in the game. But we didn’t turn them over any. We didn’t get it done on the defensive side tonight.”
The defense was solid in the first quarter for the Lady Cardinals holding Munford to 5 points. A pair of three-pointers from freshman guard Danielle Collins gave the Brighton a 6-5 advantage.
The Lady Cardinals went ahead 8-5 in the second quarter when Makayla Rose hit a jumper in the lane. The Lady Cougars had an answer with guard Phenicia Howard. Already with one triple under her belt, Howard tied the game at 8-8 with another three-pointer.
Rose regained the lead for Brighton with a put-back bucket. Collins drained her third trey of the game to make the score 13-8.
The Lady Cardinals’ lead grew to 15-8 when Rose scored her third basket of the quarter. Howard stopped Brighton’s 7-0 run with a drive to the rim.
Howard then dualed Lady Cardinal Shayna Johnson for a stretch. Johnson scored two buckets with a hook shot and layup. Howard hit two more three-pointers to tie the game at 19-19.
Collins scored her 11th point of the first half with a jumper making the score 21-19. But before the first half buzzer sounded, Munford finally captured the lead courtesy of Howard. She hit a three-pointer making the tally 22-21.
In the third quarter the Lady Cardinals went cold from the field with Collins making Brighton’s only shot in the period. Meanwhile Lady Cougars like Kierra Richardson, Precious Mills and Howard accumlated 10 points giving Munford a 32-24 advantage.
“We just didn’t hit our shots,” Cates said. “We got shots, but just didn’t make them.”
The Lady Cardinals doubled their output from the third quarter, but Munford got hot shooting from Richardson to score 17 points in the fourth quarter. The junior guard nailed back-to-back triples to make the score 45-28.
Cates said Richardson had an easier time getting her shot off in the second half because his team reverted back to old bad habits on defense and didn’t give good help-side defense.
“We have to play better defense,” he concluded. “I don’t think we gave a good defensive effort at all tonight. They got a little bit of a lead, I think some of our youth came out.”

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