Recap: Charlestown 66, No. 17 Brighton 47

CHARLESTOWN, Mass. -- Charlestown began the game on a 7-0 run, and while Brighton kept up for a bit, the Townies led by 30 at the end of three quarters and finally put away the Bengals, 66-47.

This is Charlestown’s first win of the season, and it comes by almost 20. You are not alone if you are wondering if this is the same team that lost its first two games by an average of 26 points to No. 4 New Mission (87-60) then No. 3 BC High (70-44).

“We’re trying to find the identity of this team,” said Charlestown coach Edson Cardoso.

That may be an understatement.

Charlestown is now 1-2 after tonight’s victory. Tonight’s 19-point victory leaves the team’s first win spread at nearly their average loss margin.

“It’s a long season,” laughed Cardoso.

In the first quarter, the Townies got two steals and only led 12-10 after the first eight minutes. After two quarters, the lead had spread to 12 as they had four steals in second quarter.

But the third quarter is where Charlestown pulled up anchor and sailed away with the game, spreading the lead to 30 at 50-20. This lead was spurred by the Townies doubling Brighton’s rebound total for the quarter (10-5) allowed the Townies to outscore them 23-5 in the same frame.

“We practiced a lot of defense last night,” added Cardoso. “We went back to basics. We’re a defensive team, offense will come. The lead was a result of deflections, rotations, communication which led to some positive offense.”

New Year, New Townies: If you compare last year’s Charlestown roster to this year’s, you would wonder if the teams were even fielded from the same school (They are). The one name which rang last year and is back is 6-foot-3 junior guard Taris Wilson (14 points).

“We’re talking about 13 new faces and two returners," Cardoso said. "I tell these guys, ‘You’re not last year’s team, you’re a brand new Charlestown team. Continue to trust yourselves and your coaches and we will develop into a great team by the end of the season.’”

Bigger Heart: When coach Cardoso asks for “bigger heart” from junior forward Allijah Robinson -- after a stunning performance, accumulating 15 points, 12 rebounds, four steals, four blocks and two assists -- it will not be a negative request, but more of a tightening up of an already effective and energetic individual.

“We ask a lot of him,” admitted Cardoso. “I think he’s at 75 percent right now. He has a heart but I need it to be bigger. As he continues to gain confidence in himself, his teammates and the program, he will be firing on all pistons.”

Different Game: Brighton’s Nick Simpson, who ended the game with five points, four steals and two blocks, went to the locker room with an undisclosed injury in the third quarter and did not return to game play. He remained on the bench in his warm-up gear. As Simpson watched his team’s hopes of closing in on Charlestown diminish, Cardoso was dreading the chance that the triple threat (scoring, rebounding and defending) would come back to thwart his team’s efforts to close out the game.

“Had that kid caught one or two more threes, things may have been different,” said Cardoso. “He’s an unbelievable shooter. He was on the scouting report. If he had hit even a couple more threes, the game might have been closer.”