Brighton is much younger and the guards are starting to grow up

A year after winning a state title, things are very different at Brighton High School. Last year, the Bengals had a veteran team. This time around, Hugh Coleman has a new cast of characters, and a much younger one at that, that he is trying to win with.  The Bengals have had their struggles, to be sure, but with the city tournament a week away they still have a chance to get in with the help of some of the younger talent. And talent is one thing they have, especially on the perimeter.

When you have young guards, there is often a learning curve, and that’s been the case with this team. The Bengals’ best talents are there with Javaughn Edmonds (6’2″ So. SG) and Tyrone Perry (6’1″ Fr. SG) leading the way, although Stephen Bouyer (6’1″ So. SG) also has potential.

javaughn_edmonds

Brighton sophomore Javaughn Edmonds has a good stroke and a lot of potential (Phil Kasiecki photo)

Edmonds has the most upside of the three. The lefty is a baby physically and also lacks strength, which can be seen just about anytime he takes contact. That will change in time as his body matures, and perhaps right around the time a game off the bounce comes. He has a very good stroke from long range, but mostly hits shots off the catch and has a limited driving game right now. The key to expanding that will be continuing to shoot well while developing the ball skills to take defenders off the dribble. Edmonds is also a very good student.

Perry is one of the best freshmen in the city and has a good body for his age. Like Edmonds, he can shoot, although not as well and he doesn’t have the same upside from a physical standpoint. Still, he’s a plus athlete who competes, although at times his body language doesn’t suggest it, and you can tell he has to grow into the player he can be. In other words, there are hits and misses, as is often the case with freshmen thrust into key roles right away.

Bouyer doesn’t have as big a role as Edmonds or Perry, but he will in time. His body is a little further along than Edmonds and he shows flashes, but he’s not quite as gifted athletically or skill-wise as the other two.

Brighton also has a prospect up front in Jason Jones (6’6″ Jr. PF-C). Now pressed into a bigger role, Jones has a good frame and is a plus athlete who can score in close when he gets the ball in a good position. He has plenty of room to develop, as he could rebound better, puts the ball on the floor in close and doesn’t seem to handle all the passes he should. His offensive skill package needs work, but he is coachable and has had some growing pains with his expanded role.

The Bengals can make the city playoffs with a win over East Boston by at least six points. A win will tie the teams for second place in the Boston City League North Division, where two teams make it. The Jets beat the Bengals by five last week at East Boston, and the tie-breaker will come down to point differential in head-to-head play.

This time around, things haven’t been easy for this team. Still, there may be a light at the end of the tunnel as the young players gain experience. If the Bengals get into the city playoffs, it will be big for this team, a team as much of the future as the present with its young talent. That can make them hungry for more.

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