|Tyrone Perry and the Brighton Bengals remain a force in the Boston City League|
By Nate Weitzer (@Nweitzer7)
DORCHESTER, Mass. - With so much parity in the Boston City League this season, it can be difficult to separate the cream of the crop.
Yet the Brighton Bengals proved to be a notch above the competition in a resounding 72-40 victory at Tech Boston Academy on Wednesday evening.
These two athletic teams traded blows throughout a competitive first half, but the Bengals appeared to have a distinct size advantage that allowed them out-rebound their hosts 20 to 5 in the first quarter alone.
Brighton junior forward Jerrod Clark (13 points, 16 rebounds) led the charge down low while teammates Jordan Diaz (6 points, 8 rebounds) and Quincy Taylor (4 points, 7 rebounds) also crashed the glass.
Even Bengals point guard Jordan Galloway (13 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals) jumped in on the offensive rebound parade with a couple of second-chance buckets, as Brighton took a 34-26 lead into the break.
“We do have an advantage over a lot of teams in the city with our size and it’s about getting our guys to understand that,” said Brighton head coach Hugh Coleman. “Tonight we were playing a team that plays a lot of guards and we had to utilize our height.”
Tech Boston (12-3), which is also known as Dorchester High, plays an amorphous starting lineup featuring five players that can handle the ball and shoot. But that leaves the Bears vulnerable to bigger teams and despite the efforts of their big man Tyecliff Blake (5 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists), they were simply unable to match up with the Bengals down low.
Brighton (11-4) has seven players on its roster that stand 6-foot-3 or taller and Blake is the only player over 6-foot-1 on the roster for Tech Boston.
The Bears were able to make up for their lack of size by turning Brighton over a whopping 24 times throughout the contest, including eight turnovers in the first quarter, but eventually Clark and others made them pay in the paint.
“These [Bengals] have been playing together for three or four years,” Coleman explained. “Jerrold [Clark] gives us some depth up front and some versatility as well. He can put in the floor from the wing and create his own shot, so he should be a very vital piece for us as we try to make our run [in the postseason].”
Clark grabbed eight of Brighton’s 21 offensive rebounds on the night. He received plenty of help from his fellow forwards, while big senior guard Tyrone Perry (18 points, 10 rebounds) added a double double to help the Bengals pull away.
By holding the Bears to just eight points and finding the range from downtown in the third quarter, Brighton was able to turn a war into a slaughter with a 27-10 run throughout the third and early fourth quarter.
Laqu Howard (12 points, 2 assists) broke a long shooting drought by hitting the Bengals first attempt from long range and Mykel Derring played great minutes after sitting throughout the first half for disciplinary reasons.
And when the Bengals turned up the intensity with some full court defense, the Bears simply could not handle the pressure.
Now Brighton will look to get past Charlestown at home and win a re-scheduled tilt at Brockton on Sunday before their schedule really heats up with matchups against D1 powers Needham and BC High or Newton North at the Comcast/Arbella Classic later this month.
For Coleman and his team, that’s a challenge that they’ll relish ahead of the Boston City League Tournament and the D2 State Tournament beyond that.
“We try to play a very competitive schedule and at the end of the day, you’re going to have to play those tough teams anyways in the tournament,” Coleman said. “For us, we like to play those tough teams earlier so that we’re battle tested and we should be very prepared after our regular season to make a run at the title.”