By Michael Hicks
FORT COLLINS — Joel Maly scored 29 points and Jeff Shields added 17, but Berthoud’s inability to stop turning the ball over was the difference in a 76-63 boys’ basketball loss to Brighton in the seventh-place consolation game of the Fort Collins/Poudre Tip-Off Invitational on Saturday.
Berthoud led 54-49 with 46 seconds left in the third quarter after a Ryan Barron 3-pointer, but the Spartans (1-3) were outscored 27-9 the rest of the way in dropping its third straight game in the tournament.
The Spartans turned the ball over 30 times.
“We never could slow that pace of turning the ball over and it looked like Brighton cleared it up there in the end,” Berthoud head coach Pete Scheck said. “Except for turnovers we did pretty well in the first half. But you can’t turn the ball over that much.”
The game saw 15 lead changes in a first half that was played at a blitzkrieg pace and the team’s tied at 36 at the intermission, despite double-digit turnovers by both teams. The third quarter proved to be much of the same, but the fourth quarter was all Brighton.
Tre Robinson led a balanced attack for the Bulldogs with 20 points. Federico Cano added 14 and Anthony Valenzuela 11 for Brighton.
Berthoud lost to Fort Collins, 59-34, in the tournament’s opening round Tuesday before suffering a 53-49 loss to Pueblo County in Friday’s opening consolation round.
“Both of these last two games we had a chance to win. We could’ve definitely won,” Maly said. “It’s going to hurt. We’ve got to work on stuff in practice and hopefully we’ll get a couple of wins these next few games.”
Shane Hart was the only other Berthoud player in double figures with 10 points.