After starting the season 1-2, the Brighton boys’ basketball team needed Malik James to elevate his game for the Bengals to be successful, said coach Hugh Coleman.
Coleman told James to step up for Thursday night’s game against unbeaten New Mission, and the junior guard did just that, scoring 30 points while dishing 12 assists to boost host Brighton to a 79-68 victory over the Titans.
“Malik played his role exactly how we told him,” said Coleman. “I’ve compared him to our Rajon Rondo. He gets guys the ball and when he needs to take over he does that.”
Early in the game James racked up the assists, but at the half the score was knotted at 37. After Nick Simpson (17 first-half points) fouled out in the fourth quarter, James used his scoring to help the Bengals (2-2) put away the Titans (3-1).
“Malik understood he had to take over,” said Coleman. “He was the difference between us winning and losing.”
Jason Jones also played a key role for Brighton with 15 points and 15 rebounds.
Charlestown 53, East Boston 48 — A game after East Boston senior guard Pat Santos hit a miraculous full-court buzzer-beater to defeat Madison Park Tuesday night, the Jets fell to the rival Townies.
East Boston (4-1) had a 14-0 run late to cut Charlestown’s lead to 49-48 with 55 seconds left, but junior guard Taris Wilson drew a foul while driving baseline and split the pair to put Charlestown (2-2) up by 2 points before the Townies managed to hold on.
Minuteman 81, Bedford 77 — Darrell Aikins (31 points, 7 assists), Brandon Robinson (17 points, 12 assists), and Aidan Rojo (19 points, 12 rebounds) led the attack for the Mustangs (3-1). Allister Willems scored 37 in the loss for the Buccaneers.
Rockport 60, North Shore 44 — Adam Balzarini’s career-best 20-point night led the Bulldogs (2-0).
Newton North 76, Milton 51 — Sophomore Tommy Mobley led the Tigers (3-0) with 30 points, 27 of which came from behind the arc.
St. John’s Prep 60, Haverhill 43 — Drex Costello led the way for the Eagles with 19 points.
Barnstable 52, New Bedford 46 — Molly Bent put up a career-high 41 points for the Red Raiders.
Holbrook 44, Cape Cod Academy 28 — Courtney Foley and Jakiyah Jones each scored 10 points to lead the Bulldogs.
Cathedral 71, Cristo Rey 14 — Jade Moore had 32 points and Emani Roman added 15 for the Panthers.
Newton South 64, Wayland 33 — Freshman Emily Chang led the Lions (1-2) with 26 points.
Charlestown 48, East Boston 18 — Sara Centeio (19 points) and Kharlita Chambers-Walker (12 ) led the Townies (3-2).
Fontbonne 49, Medfield 47 — The Ducks improved to 4-0 thanks to 21 points and 15 rebounds by Jen Gemma.
Somerset Berkley 60, Diman 20 — Cassey Letage had 17 points, including three 3-pointers, for the Blue Raiders.
Newton North 44, Milton 28 — Junior guard Infinity Thomas-Waheed had 15 points and 12 rebounds, while senior forward Gemma Lurie had 10 points and 10 boards
Lynn English 64, Beverly 41 — Deidra Newson led the Bulldogs (2-1) with 24 points, 11 rebounds, and 4 steals.
Wellesley 37, Weymouth 21 — Senior captain Charlotte Bussema’s double-double (10 points, 10 rebounds) led the Raiders (3-2).