Having already knocked off the No. 1 seed in the Division 2 North boys’ basketball tournament, Brighton will look to beat second-seeded North Andover on Saturday afternoon in Lowell.
But the fifth-seeded Bengals (18-5) — who defeated Melrose, 65-62, Tuesday night to advance to Saturday’s final (12:15 p.m. at the Tsongas Center) — are expected to be without seniors Daivon Edwards and Nate Hogan, who will be taking the SATs.
“As of right now, yes [we will be without them] unless we can figure something out, I don’t know what we can figure out,” Brighton coach Hugh Coleman said Thursday morning. “Obviously Daivon is our shooter and Nate is our defensive stopper/backup point guard.”
Brighton athletic coordinator and football coach Randolph Abraham said school officials have reached out to the MIAA about pushing the tip-off back to late afternoon, but have been rebuffed. Abraham even said local politicians have offered to give the students police escorts to the game.
The MIAA traditionally does not change game times to accomodate for the SATs since there are so many opportunities to take the test. But Abraham said most Brighton students can only take the SATs at certain times because they use vouchers that cover the cost of the exam.
The test usually costs around $50 per try.
“It’s not right for teams of our caliber, two Division 2 schools, to play that early on,”
Abraham said. “[The MIAA said] they are cemented in. They have eight games going on and everything is concrete.
“Nobody called to say, does this time work for us?”
North Andover (19-4) defeated Wakefield to advance to Saturday’s game. Derek Collins had a game-high 26 points, including seven 3-pointers.
“We know he’s a really good shooter, a really good player, we know they have a good inside presence,” Coleman said. “They are a good program. They are well coached and seem pretty disciplined.
“It’s going to be a tough game regardless. We’re just going to try to do our best to defend and run stuff on the offensive side."
Coleman said his team is used to battling adversity.
“I do really enjoy and appreciate my guys' ability to deal with adversity,” he said. “We’ve been dealing with adversity for the past four seasons in terms of not having a gym last year — we played every game on the road for the most part — to losing guys to eligibility to having guys suspended from the team.
“So our guys have been through a lot. It’s weird but they are used to adversity. By now it’s almost second nature. I feel regardless our guys there will step up and play their role and play their game.”
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