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Brandon doesn't miss a beat in win

© St. Petersburg Times
published February 1, 2003

SEFFNER -- Brandon turned a loss into a gain Friday night.

Playing without point guard Taylor Gangis, Brandon beat Armwood 52-41, keeping the first-place Eagles unbeaten in Class 4A, District 9 play.

Brandon (17-5) never trailed as it held Armwood (13-5) to 12 first-half points and 29 percent shooting. Gangis was serving the first of a two-game suspension following an ejection against Plant.

"Taylor is huge for us," Brandon coach Dave Hermann said. "We're a different team with him; a different team without him. There was one other game we didn't have him this year, but it was good that we got this win without him."

J.J. Turner scored a game-high 16 points and Maxzell Mathis added 12 as Brandon dominated inside. The state's ninth-ranked team scored its first six field goals on layups to set the tone, and used a 15-4 run at the end of the second quarter to take a 25-12 halftime lead.

The Eagles stretched their lead to 14 at 38-24 before Armwood rallied. The Hawks used a 16-6 run to climb within 44-40 on a Ron Mack layup with 1 minute, 37 seconds remaining. But Omar Garrett's layup 35 seconds later started a game-closing 8-1 Brandon spurt as Armwood missed its final five shots from the floor.

"I thought we played well the first half by holding them to 12 points," Hermann said. "I would have liked to have done the same thing the second half, but we had too many defensive breakdowns."

Armwood made five of 22 field-goal attempts in the first half.

Kedrick Range and Mack led Armwood with 12 points apiece.

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