Brighton takes third at Boulder Valley tourney

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By Steve Smith

LAFAYETTE — Brighton High School girls basketball coach Dan Doehler thinks his team may have turned the corner.
    After a tough opening two-game stretch against two of the better teams in the state, Brighton bounced back and captured third place at the Boulder Valley Invitational girls basketball tournament. The Bulldogs bested Standley Lake 50-45 in Saturday’s consolation final. Brielle Brady led the way with 16 points. Cassie Kaiser was next with nine.
Brighton picked up its first win of the season by a score of 69-42 against Thomas Jefferson Dec. 4. Aili Kremer led the Bulldogs with 19 points. Kaiser chipped in with 12, and Brady finished with eight points. BHS’ only tournament loss was to defending state champion Legacy 60-30 in a Thursday night semifinal. Brady led the Bulldogs with nine points.
“The most improvement has been from our post players,” Doehler said. “They can come off the block, do a pick and roll and get an easy hoop. I’ve seen a lot of improvement from Jasmine and Aili running the point. They understand the second options. When I got there, they were so robotic.”
Doehler also pointed to improved defense.
“We’re going to continue to build on this thing,” Doehler said. “We knew our first games were huge. Broomfield, Denver East and Legacy have seven state championships in the last eight years. We knew it was a front-loaded schedule. We have to get through these hurdles. We’re looking to improve every day.”
    BHS gave up 30 points in the first quarter to Legacy.
    “We shot ourselves in the foot,” he said. “We had a lot of turnovers. We looked at their name and assumed they were a good team. Opening up with a 30-pouint quarter is not something we can do. We had to buckle down on defense.”
Doehler wants five wins in the month of December. BHS has two entering play this week. His goal is a 14-win season.
    “We have room for only seven more slips. But I think that’s possible,” Doehler said. “Rangeview got blasted the other night. Our league is wide open. I’m excited about our season. We’ve got a lot to do. All the kids know what we’re doing. I’m pretty happy.”
    BHS hosts Columbine at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

Contact Sports Editor Steve Smith at ssmith@metrowestnewspapers.com.