Many players are able to elevate their game to another level once they find a suitable coach. One that coexists with particular styles of play and the ability to maintain an understanding of one another.
Brighton’s first-year coach Jeff Gardner and leading scorer Brandon Miller have that relationship.
In his first year with the program, after coaching at Mountain View last season, Gardner propelled Brighton to it’s first 5A title game appearance since 2000 after a 61-56 quarterfinal win against Riverton at the Maverik Center Friday.
“We’ve got a great coach,” Miller said while referencing Gardner’s preparation for late-game situations in practice.
Undoubtedly the main component to the Bengals’ success this season is Miller’s play.
Entering the 5A tournament Tuesday, Miller was the third leading scorer in 5A, but because of three consecutive outings of 24, 23 and 24 points he claimed the second spot at 22.1 points per gam”He was fabulous again,” Gardner said of Miller’s performance in the semifinals. “He’s just playing great basketball.”
Miller’s growth this year has been somewhat undocumented. As a sophomore last season he averaged eight points per game and his highest outing was 18.
Now, as a junior, he’s increased his total by 14 points and has eclipsed over 20 points in 16-of-23 games this season. He’s bucketed over 25 points five times and scored 29 twice.
“I think everybody can see that there’s been a big change in Brighton,” Miller said. “Brighton has always been a winning program. It’s been a long time coming.”
For the Bengals to win their first championship since 1996 against Lone Peak, Miller will need to deliver his finest performance.
“We’re not worried about Lone Peak more than we were worried about Riverton or American Fork ,” Miller said. “We’re just going to come out and play our game and play to win.”