BRIGHTON — Legacy freshman Talia DePetrillo had the best game of her young career on Tuesday night at Brighton, lighting up the scoreboard for 21 points.
But after a 48-47 loss in which the Lightning allowed a wide-open layup with 10 seconds to go as the game-winner for the host Bulldogs, DePetrillo couldn’t help but feel a little empty.
“I should have been able to step up and stop that, but I didn’t,” the youngest member of the team said afterwards.
Much to the chagrin of head coach Craig Van Patten, nobody stepped up to defend BHS sophomore Haley Lara as she wiggled through the lane for only her second field goal of the night, and the Lightning ran out of time to get a final shot to fall to 3-2 on the season.
Both teams were tough on each other for 32 full minutes, but it was not the kind of effort Van Patten expected to see from his girls overall.
“You saw it, it was just ugly,” Van Patten said. “Our defense was terrible, we got killed on the boards and our shots weren’t falling. Just a bad combination.
“The Red Sea parted to let (Lara) get all the way to the rim. We have to be smarter.”
Playing without star sophomore Halle Mackiewicz for the fourth time in five games because of a prestigious soccer opportunity, the Lightning saw a modest two-game winning streak come to an end thanks to LHS shooting just 36 percent from the floor and struggling to connect closer to the rim than from the perimeter.
Legacy hit seven 3-pointers for the game, and DePetrillo helped the Lightning forge a 28-19 lead at halftime with a buzzer-beating trey. But a brutal start to the third quarter saw Brighton get to within 31-30 by the half-way mark of the frame, and when Kaylah Lewis drove in after a Legacy turnover and hit a layup at the 1:30 mark Brighton had a 36-34 lead.
Legacy led 39-38 headed to the fourth quarter, but the Bulldogs (2-3) gained as much as a 46-41 lead before things got interesting. Anya Carlson hit a layup with 2:28 to go to make it 46-43 and DePetrillo made it 46-45 right at the 2:00 mark.
The score stayed that way until DePetrillo — who made eight of her 16 field goal attempts — slipped just inside the perimeter and sunk a jumper with 21 seconds left to put Legacy ahead by a point.
While Van Patten was screaming for his team not to foul, Lara took advantage of the opportunity for an uncontested shot as the Lightning arguably gave up too much space.
With several fouls to give, Brighton simply forced Legacy into wasting precious seconds off the clock, and a final inbound heave underneath the basket was stolen by Lewis to seal the win.
Lewis finished with 18 points and Slorf added 15 for Brighton, who also hit seven 3-pointers overall.
Carlson and Isa Valenzuela each had nine points to aid Legacy.
The Lightning will play Prairie View on Thursday at 4 p.m. as they continue in the tournament at BHS.
“I feel like we’re going to be a good group this year and we have a lot of potential,” DePetrillo said. “I just think that communication is still a work in progress.”
Brighton 48, Legacy 47
At Brighton HS
DePetrillo 8 1-1 21, Priller 0 0-0 0, Keaser 0 0-0 0, Zamora 1 0-0 2, Liversedge 0 0-0 0, Ahadi 1 0-0 3, Valenzuela 4 0-1 9, Baum 1 1-2 3, Carlson 4 0-0 9. Totals 19 2-4 47.
Hendricks 0 0-0 0, Montes 0 0-1 0, Lara 2 0–0 4, Lewis 7 1-3 18, Slorf 6 0-2 15, Byrnes 0 0-0 0, Dent 0 3-6 3, Waters 3 1-2 8. Totals 18 5-14 48.
Score by quarters:
3-point field goals — Legacy (7): DePetrillo 4, Ahadi, Valenzuela, Carlson; Brighton (7): Lewis 3, Slorf 3, Waters.