FORT COLLINS — In the span of three games, Brighton High School boys basketball coach Anthony Mitchell went from a certain amount of frustration with his team to a certain amount of satisfaction.
And some education, too. Mitchell said he got caught with the right people on the floor but in the wrong combinations in Friday night’s game.
“If wed gone through this Wednesday, I would have known better,” Mitchell said. “I’m not upset. We learned a lot from this game (Montbello). We can’t sub in three people at a time. We can sub in one or two. We knew it, but we didn’t know who the bench players were going to be.”
Mitchell also learned something about his defensive scheme.
“We’re going to have to play some zone this year,” Mitchell said. “I can’t ask my kids to push the basketball, run a full-court press and run a motion offense. Sometimes in trying to wear your opponent out, you wear yourself out. What we learned instead of going full-court, man to man, we tried to drop back into some zones and conserve some energy.”
As for the tournament, Brighton nipped Faith Christian 62-60 Saturday in the final game of the GoJo SaberCat Classic in Fort Collins. Collin Tabor, who made the all-tournament team, led the Bulldogs with 26 points.
The Bulldogs got off to a slow start in the tournament. Fossil Ridge stopped Brighton 79-33 Wednesday night. Angelo Diaz had 10 points to lead Brighton’s cause. Goward was next with seven, and Tabor added six.
Even though the second game of the tournament turned into a loss as well (67-53 vs. Montbello), Mitchell said he saw noticeable improvement from his team. Tabor had 19 points to lead the Bulldogs, including 13 in a row between the second and third quarters.
“I told the boys if I’d seen that kind of effort the other night (vs. Fossil Ridge), we’d have won tonight (vs. Montbello),” Mitchell said. “I left here Wednesday not knowing anything. Tonight was the first night I learned anything about this basketball team.”
Brighton hosts George Washington at 7 p.m. Friday.