Boys basketball: Brandon's fast guards too much for King

By Dan Genovese
Published January 19, 2008

TAMPA - Six weeks ago when Brandon and King met, the Lions were able to pull out a 47-45 win over the Eagles.

It was a different story Friday night when the Class 5A, District 8 heavyweights squared off again.

Brandon used its speed and guard play to secure an 83-70 victory.

"We had a letdown the other night in a loss to Wharton," Brandon coach Mark Hermann said. "(Friday) we just came to play."

With just more than five minutes to go in the first half, King's John Wood hit a 3-pointer to put the Lions up 25-24.

Brandon answered quickly and changed the momentum and flow of the game with a 16-5 run to end the half up by 10.

Brandon extended its lead early in the third quarter as Eagles guards Tarron Stewart and Blake Allen led a 13-1 run to open up the second half. Allen finished with a game-high 41 points and eight 3-pointers, while Stewart finished with 24 points.

"I keep saying that those two (Allen and Stewart) are college-level guards," Hermann said. "We can beat a lot of teams with the way they play."

King fought back in the fourth quarter and was able to cut the lead to nine, led by Matt Merchant's four 3-pointers. Merchant finished with a team-high 22 points.

But King couldn't answer defensively for Allen and Stewart. The duo racked up a combined 20 points in the fourth quarter for the Eagles.

"We played hard tonight," Hermann said. "That's what we're all about. Brandon basketball is all about playing hard."