By Thomas Sellers Jr.
The Lady Cardinals are currently rewriting the record books at Brighton High School for girls basketball.
With each victory during the 2018-19, David Wampler’s crew is setting new benchmarks for future teams to come. While still in pursuit of championships, the Lady Cardinals are enjoying milestones like most wins for a season in more than a decade.
Brighton is even winning in locations they haven’t taste victory in prior like the Munford High School Gymnasium. On Jan. 15, the Lady Cardinals traveled to their rivals the Munford Lady Cougars earning a 39-28 win to improve to 2-0 in District 13-3A.
Munford Head Coach Steve Poindexter made it tough on the Lady Cardinals devising a game plan to neutralize the speed of Brighton.
“Poindexter is an excellent coach,” Wampler said. “He’s going to use his skills. I told them at halftime, ‘We’re more talented. But they were more disciplined.’
“They came in here and did their game plan and we didn’t,” he added. “We got two girls with two fouls in the first half. In our system you go to the bench and sit until halftime. We had two starters sitting on the bench with two fouls (Albanie Dunn and MG Smith).”
Munford held an early lead at 8-4 with 6 points from Mary Richardson. After a Camryn Bruce triple, the Lady Cougars nursed a 13-10 advantage heading into the second period.
“I told them also the way he wants to play the game, you can’t force the ball,” Wampler said of Poindexter. “We have to take open shots and we can’t have unforced turnovers. In the first half we were sloppy with the ball. We missed four layups in the row. We were up by 6 (points), missed four layups and that’s 14 (point lead). If we’re up 14 they’d have to come out and play us. Then it’s our advantage.”
Brighton finally took the lead in the second quarter with a 12-0 run. T. Brown got the Lady Cardinals rolling with a bucket.
Next Brighton possession, the Lady Cardinals used ball movement without dribbles to locate Dunn for a three-pointer to make the score 15-13.
Then the full-court press of Brighton caused a couple of Munford turnovers. The first steal led to DeMiyah Gatlin scoring a layup. Sylvia “Bug” Jones was next to make a steal leading to a basket that made the tally 19-13. Brown closed the run hitting a three-pointer to make the score 22-13.
Bruce stopped the Brighton momentum with a trey. The Lady Cardinals were the ones with a three-point lead at the break with the score 24-21.
The third quarter was uneventful with Brighton outscoring Munford 5-1. Then the first four minutes of the fourth quarter was a test of endurance for Brighton’s Jones. The junior guard literally held the ball to start the period.
“My girls want to just go fast, fast, fast,” Wampler said. “You saw Bug up there trying to move. We told her, ‘Just hold the ball. Don’t do anything stupid.’”
Once the offenses got rolling, Brighton won the scoring battle 10-6. The Lady Cardinals left a few points off the scoreboard missing layups. Wampler wants to clean up other Brighton miscues to build toward more milestones in the near future.
“We’re trying to do things now to prepare us for February and March,” he concluded. “Those are things in a tighter game, you can’t do that. Every time we do something it’s either rare or new. This is the first time Brighton hasn’t beat Munford here since Poindexter had been here.”