The Brighton and Howell girls basketball teams have something in common going into tonight’s game: A division loss to Hartland.
For Brighton, it came a week ago, a 43-36 loss that saw the Bulldogs get to within a point before the Eagles regained contr0l.
For Howell, it came Tuesday, a 48-28 pasting that proved that an off night can be a very bad thing indeed.
The teams meet tonight in a game that will be broadcast on The Livingston Post starting at around 7 p.m. Click here for the link.
“Absolutely, it was a confidence-builder,” said Brighton coach Paul Ash, whose team easily dispatched Milford on Tuesday. “You never like to lose a game, but when you compete against a team of that caliber, it’s always good. Now we have to figure how to win a game like that.”
The Bulldogs might have an opportunity against the Highlanders, who took an early lead Tuesday only to see Hartland score the last 12 points of the first quarter and never look back.
“We ran two (offensive) sets early in the game and they both worked,” Howell coach Tim Olszewski said Tuesday. “We started deviating and breaking from what we’re trying to do. … and suddenly everyone starts pressing and it was a slippery slope for us.”
“Basketball is such a game of matchups,” Ash said. “For whatever reason, Howell had a bad shooting night, and that’s a bad recipe against Hartland.
“We match up OK,” he continued. “I think it will be a good game.”
The game marks the midpoint of both the regular season and division schedule for both teams. Brighton is 8-2, 3-1 KLAA West, while Howell is 8-1, 3-1.
“It’s going to come down to how we defend,” Ash said. “They dribble-penetrate really well. (Point guard Lexie) Miller is good at driving the late, and we will have to make them hit tough shots.”
The game is likely critical for both teams in the divisional race.
“No one can afford a second (division) loss,” Ash said. “We’re excited for the challenge, and I’m sure they’re fired up to play after a tough loss. Both teams are hungry for a win.”