By Thomas Sellers Jr.
As he exited the Munford Gymnasium Friday night, Brighton Lady Cardinals Head Coach David Wampler declared, ‘We gave them a scare there.’
Brighton took on the role of Jason Vouchers stalking and irritating the Munford Lady Cougars for 32 minutes. Like the legendary horror icon known for Friday the 13th, the Lady Cardinals just kept coming back pushing the Lady Cougars to the limit.
And like the Friday the 13th franchise, Jason or Brighton in this case finally were tamed 45-36. The normal plot of a Jason Vouchers film, his victims were impatient and often were in a hurry leading to their demise.
Munford Head Coach Steve Poindexter noted that almost doomed his squad against Brighton.
“We were not patient enough,” he said. “I don’t think we tried to get the ball inside as much as I would really like to. That doesn’t mean feed Gabby. That means our guards on quick swings, attacking the basket. I felt like we settled for the three. We made some.
But I feel we made it a lot easier on them by not attacking,” Poindexter added. “We didn’t push the ball inside and make them guard. We’re a much better team if we’re inside, out. Both post players do a pretty good job when they are double teamed finding the open man and making the extra pass. And we didn’t have enough of that tonight.”
In the first quarter Brighton was out to a surprising 7-5 lead after an Aubree Jones triple. Munford’s Gabby Crawford tied the contest with a bucket. Then the Lady Cougars took the lead 10-7 when Johnna Jones drained a three-pointer.
Munford settling for the long range shot paid off in the second quarter with Jones hitting another triple and Ally Gover making a three. Gover’s three-pointer made the score 18-13 in favor the Lady Cougars.
Jones closed the first half with layup to make the score 20-13.
The Lady Cougars’ lead hit double figures following Poindexter’s strategy. Crawford scored the first two buckets of the third quarter to make the score 24-13.
Crawford’s foul shot gave Munford a 12-point advantage. The Lady Cardinals regrouped and went back on the attack.
Brighton responded to Munford’s blow with a 7-3 run to close the quarter. Kailey Hunt got the Lady Cardinals started with a foul shot of her own. Then Taliyah Brown hit a floater in the lane to make the score 25-16. Lady Cardinal Lindsey Morrissett made a basket next.
After Johnna Jones made a three-pointer for Munford, Sylvia Jones scored for Brighton with a layup to make the tally 28-20 going into the fourth quarter.
Brighton stayed on the prowl led by Morrissett making a hook in the lane, hitting a jumper and nailing a free throw. Morrissett missed the next foul shot but Sylvia Jones was there for a put-back basket and the tally was 35-30.
Brighton made the score 35-31 when MG Smith hit a foul shot. The Lady Cougars endured the onslaught from the Lady Cardinals and struck the final blow of the night with a 10-5 run to close out the game.
“It’s a learning experience,” Poindexter said. “We had a team with a 10-day layoff with all the weather stuff. Maybe there was some rust. But I told my kids watching them on film, I give them credit. They’re scrappy and they hard. I told our kids, ‘When you’re on top you’re going to get everybody’s best game.’ I think we got there best game.”
Munford improved to 14-4 overall with the Brighton victory and opened the District 13-3A schedule with a win.
With a sequel down the road in Brighton, Poindexter hopes his team learned a lesson.
“We have to make a adjustments and learn to be more patient,” he concluded. “We’re not going to settle for threes when we can make quick swings and drive to the post. We have guard who can get to the rim. They have to get to the rim. I think we settled a little but at the end of the day a win is a win. We have to go back to the drawing board and hopefully get better.”