BOSTON -- The Brighton Bengals were knighted this evening with their 2013 championship rings and continued their road to defend their title with another win, this a gritty triumph over the persistent Springfield Central Golden Eagles 70-67, led by head Coach Jack O’Brien, in front of a packed Reggie Lewis Center crowd.
Brighton led for most of the game, but early in the third quarter, Zavia Williams, Cody Williams and Juam Williams each hit a field goal, and those six unanswered points were the first of the second half and gave Brighton a jolt and challenged the Bengals to generate turnovers and make some baskets. Brighton was able to do so, led scoring wise by Javaughn Edmonds. All of Edmonds’ 14 points came in the second half.
Brighton head coach Hugh Coleman and his staff watched Edmonds and noticed some patterns that they thought would be more beneficial off of the bench, particularly his ability to catch and shoot. Today, their collective keen sense turned out to be the game changer for the Bengals, as the sophomore shooting guard was draining shot from the perimeter, including two three pointers, when Brighton needed them the most during the third and fourth quarters.
Freshman Tyrone Perry netted 7 of his 12 points in the second half. Under pressure an on the rebound, Perry made some seemingly nonchalant baskets that would give the Bengals the extra push they needed to pull off today’s win.
“He has a drive that I can see but you can’t teach,” stressed Coleman. “He wants to take the big shots. He wants to make free throws. He prepares for it, he works out a lot. It’s an honor to have a young man like him on our team.
Jack O’Brien is affectionately known as “Papa” to the children of Coleman. While Coleman was greeting well wishers after tonight’s game, “Papa” was holding court with former Charlestown players that he and Coleman had coached together.
Last year, when Coleman made school history for Brighton by bringing home a state title, he dedicated the season to O’Brien. Today’s ring ceremony was another small tribute from Coleman to O’Brien. Not for the wins that they acquired together as coach and player, but for the growth and stability as a man that O’Brien’s tutelage has provided for Coleman.
“When I heard he [O’Brien] got the job at Central, my mind started going to see how I could make this special,” said Coleman.
Although Coleman won the title as the Brighton Bengals’ head coach, he counted the Charlestown alumni and Springfield Central team as “family” with ‘Papa’ O’Brien as the abbot, doling out Zen-like wisdom to generations of student athletes and changing the trajectory of many family histories with his beyond measure dedication to developing good people and well-rounded student athletes, as Coleman is a testament to.
“I hope it was as special for him as it was for the rest of our family,” added Coleman.