By Thomas Sellers Jr.
Brighton Lady Cardinal seniors T. Brown, La’Rrie King, MG Smith and Haley Simpson can remember the days of the Dyer County Lady Choctaws coming into the Brighton Gymnasium winning by 20 points.
It was not too long ago Brighton celebrated a close win over their District 13-3A rivals. But the Lady Choctaws returned to their winning ways over the Lady Cardinals after that upset.
Friday night presented Brighton with a chance to prove they are a real contender for the 2018-19 District 13-3A championship.
It was the Lady Cardinals walking off the court 66-44 winners to start off the league schedule 1-0.
“It’s a big win for us,” Simpson said. “It gets the district schedule started off right with a big win.”
The Lady Cardinals grabbed the lead in the opening moments with a Sylvia “Bug” Jones three-pointer. After Dyer County tied the game at 4-4, Brighton proceeded with a 21-7 run sparked by an Albanie Dunn triple. Brown and Simpson added buckets to make the score 11-6.
The advantage grew to 14-6 after a Brown three-point play. Brown later stepped behind the arch to drain a triple making the tally 17-9. It was another Brown three-pointer that finally gave the Lady Cardinals a double-digit lead at 22-11.
When Smith achieved a three-point play of her own, the Lady Cardinals were ahead 25-11. Brighton held a 33-20 advantage at the break.
The Lady Cardinals were not about to have a letdown in the third quarter. Brighton outscored Dyer County 20-11 to seize control of the game. Lady Cardinals to score in the period were Jones, Brown, Dunn and DeMiyah Gatlin.
The Brighton 53-31 lead was maintain as both squads scored 13 points in the final period.
“I remember when they used to beat us by 20,” Simpson said. “A lot has changed like our work ethic and we’re together more. We’re just a team and we play together.”
In the fourth quarter Gatlin made a pair of jumpers. Smith displayed her inside and outside skills with her two baskets. She scored on a jump shot and a layup over two defenders.
Brown scored 3 points in the final period to add to her game-high 21 points. Jones added 16 points and Dunn added 9 points.
Last season the Lady Cardinals got off to a solid start in district and faded in the stretch run. Simpson said the upperclassmen will do their part to help Head Coach David Wampler keep Brighton moving forward.
“The seniors, we have to keep them practicing hard in order to play hard,” she concluded. “It’s just working together — the same old thing.”