Brighton girls lacrosse was able to come out on the right side of a back-and-forth nail-biter against Bloomfield Hills on Wednesday night, advancing to the Division 1 state title game with a 16-14 win.
The state championship game appearance marks Brighton's first since 2011 when it won the school's first-ever title over Ann Arbor Pioneer in overtime. It was the second of back-to-back championship appearances as Brighton had lost to Rockford in 2010.
Brighton will take on Rockford in the Division 1 girls lacrosse title game Saturday at 2 p.m. in Grand Ledge.
The semifinal win didn't come easy for Brighton.
"We knew it was going to be neck-and-neck," coach Ashton Peters said of the Bloomfield Hills matchup. "I told my team, 'for the last eight minutes, we're holding the ball.'"
Peters said holding the ball to melt the clock is something her team has worked on in practice extensively, noting that it was the reason Brighton held on to a two-goal lead for the final eight minutes, or so.
Admitting no one truly stood out as the game's MVP, Peters said it took a team effort to overcome Bloomfield Hills' attack.
"There wasn't just one girl, it was a team effort," Peters said. "We don't have just three strong players, we have an entire team. They're all-stars."
Although Peters is making her first trip as a head coach to the Division 1 state title game, she's been there before under different circumstances.
Back when Brighton last made its trip to the title game, Peters was a member of the team, something she wants her team to experience.
"It's actually really crazy," Peters said. "Myself and my assistant were on the team in 2011. We want our girls to have the same experience we had of winning it all."
Peters took over as the head coach right before the playoffs, but the team has embraced her every step of the way.
"The girls rallied around me right away," Peters said. "I feel like they've been trying to prove themselves to me and rally around me. I'm so proud of them."
Detroit Catholic Central 13, Hartland 12
Birmingham Brother Rice 10, Bloomfield Hills 4
Final: Saturday, 4:30 p.m., at Howell Parker Middle School
Forest Hills Central 19, Orchard Lake St. Mary's 3
East Grand Rapids 16, Grosse Pointe North 3
Final: Saturday, 2 p.m., at Howell Parker Middle School
Brighton 16, Bloomfield Hills 14
Rockford 25, Hartland 8
Final: Saturday, 2 p.m., at Grand Ledge
B.H. Cranbrook Kingswood 22, Farmington Hills Mercy 4
Okemos 10, East Grand Rapids 9
Final: Saturday, 4:30 p.m., at Grand Ledge
Bloomfield Hills Marian 9, Madison Heights Lamphere 1
Midland 5, Okemos 1
Trenton 2, Dearborn Divine Child 1