WELLESLEY, Mass. -- After jumping out to an 11-3 lead and dominating in all facets of the game it looked like No. 7 BC High would cruise to an IAABO 27 Comcast Tournament championship. No. 6 Brighton on the other hand had other ideas, as they battled back all game long forcing it to come down to the final seconds.
In the end it was BC High (16-3) holding off Brighton (14-5) 55-51 before a large crowd at Babson College.
“We knew they were a good team and we did start out strong,” BC High coach Bill Loughnane said. “We played very well and then they got it going a little bit and put some pressure on us. We made a few mistakes, but were lucky enough that we were able to make enough plays down the stretch to get the win.”
Brighton got within one at 52-51 with 2:22 remaining and then got the ball back with just over a minute left with a chance to take a lead, but following a turnover BC High eventually took a time out with 18 seconds remaining.
A mad scramble for a loose ball following the inbounds pass resulted in the Eagles getting possession and calling a time out with four seconds remaining in the game.
Senior Jameilen Jones calmly sunk both free throws with four seconds to play giving his Eagles a 54-51 lead, but one last chance for Brighton.
Brighton had to go the length of the court in four seconds, but a long heave went out of bounds putting an end to any hope of a miracle finish. Pete Timmins added a free throw in the closing seconds to seal the victory.
The Eagles employed their trap zone half court defense in the early going, which took Brighton out of their rhythm. Instead of attacking the hoop, the Bengals settled for jump shots and when they weren’t falling they found themselves trailing 19-11 after the opening quarter.
The trend continued in the second quarter with BC High leading 28-19 with just over two minutes left in the half, but the Bengals closed the half on a 5-2 run to trail 30-24 at the break.
Just like in Sunday’s game against Danvers, Brighton was a different team in the second half, as they attacked the basket and stopped settling for jump shots. On defense the Bengals switched thing to a zone defense, which took BC High off their game.
Brighton outscored BC High 16-12 in the third quarter to trail 42-40 going into the fourth, but could never pull ahead. A Mailk James layup early in the fourth tied the game at 44, but the Eagles immediately responded with a 6-0 run and never looked back.
BC High was led by their senior captains once again, but did get quality contributions from their role players, which was pleasing to Loughnane.
“Our leaders led today which is always a good thing,” he said. “The other guys did a nice job chipping in when they were called upon.”
Jones finished with a game-high 18 points, and Timmins added 12. The third captain Charles Collins had a bit of an off night, finishing with just eight points. The Eagles did get eight points from forward Steve Young and five off the bench from Alex Loughnane.
Brighton was led by junior Nick Simpson who finished, with 17 points -- 14 of which came in the first half. Junior Malik James joined Simpson in double figures with 14 of his own.
For many teams the Comcast Tournament is a great way to prepare for the upcoming MIAA state tournaments. BC High is hoping they can ride the momentum and go deep into the MIAA Division 1 tournament like Comcast Tournament champions have in the past.
“I think this is great preparation for the tournament,” Loughnane said. “This is a good tournament to go into the state tournament. I think there was a stat six winners of this tournament went on to win the Division 1 states. With the quality of teams that are in this tournament, to come out with two wins is really good.”
The tournament's MVP went to a player on the losing side in Simpson, who also scored a game-high 23 points in Brighton’s win over previously-undefeated Danvers on Sunday.
Other members of the team included: Nick McKenna (Danvers), Tommy Mobley (Newton North), Malik James (Brighton), Jameilen Jones (BC High) and Pete Timmins (BC High).
Newton North defeated Danvers 58-42 in the consolation game. Danvers played without point guard Eric Martin who suffered a groin injury in Sunday’s loss.