Brunswick High’s basketball teams put on a show Friday night against Effingham County as both squads defeated the Rebels.
The boys took it to the wire against Effingham County as Brunswick won in the final minutes 51-50 to improve to 12-6 on the season and 4-0 in region play to stay perfect. The Pirates currently hold the top spot in the Region 2-6A standings.
Effingham opened up the game on fire and put the Pirates on their toes for most of the first quarter as the Rebels led 21-10. The Rebels took away Jaden Dunham early and continuously doubled and tripled teamed him. However, Brunswick adjusted in the second period and put a dent in the deficit, trailing 31-24 at the half.
“It was a big win for us, especially with the way they were able to take away our best player,” Brunswick coach Chris Turner said. “They double-teamed him all night and made it hard for us to get the ball to where we wanted. We made some adjustments at halftime, which helped get us some baskets.”
The Pirates defense dominated throughout the third quarter allowing Effingham to score only eight points. Brunswick went on a rampage and tied the game up with a purpose.
Effingham had the chance to tie up the game with just seconds on the clock, but two crucial missed free throws ended the Rebels chances of winning or sending it into overtime. Brunswick, on the other hand, had Xavier Bean go 6-of-9 from the foul line, including four crucial free throws with under two minutes to play.
Bean led the way for the Pirates as he tallied 19 points, four assists, and three steals. Tyrease Jones also got into the double-digit points as he scored 11 points. Jones also collected nine boards, three steals and one block.
“Xavier is just a tough-nosed kid,” Turner said. “He has come up for us in big games before. I just think he’s going to keep getting better and better.”
Between the boys and girls game, Maria Mangram received a jersey and signed ball for the 200 wins she got earlier this season.
The running count heading into the game against Coffee County today after the Lady Pirates demolished Effingham 78-21, is 202-97.
Brunswick’s girls team handled business against the Rebels, which allowed coach Maria Mangram to rotate girls in continuously.
“After we started playing, we realized we were stronger than them,” Mangram said. “I felt like I didn’t have to let one group of kids stay out there the entire time. We wanted to keep fresh legs and keep everybody wanting to be a part of it, so it was a special night.”
The Lady Pirates outscored Effingham 41-10 in the first half and didn’t let up in the second half. Brunswick’s defense did an excellent job against the Lady Rebels and didn’t let them score more than seven points in a period.
While it was a special night, Mangram said she was proud of how the girls played tonight. However, there’s a whole lot of basketball left to play, she said.
“I’m very proud how they played tonight, I knew they had something up their sleeves, just wasn’t sure what. I think this year people are putting pressure on them about it being 200 wins and all the hoopla about it,” Mangram said. “We have a whole lot of basketball left to play. As a unit, we have been rolling. We played so well over Christmas break. We lost back to back region games, and that hurt us, but it’s not how you start. It’s how you finish. That’s just kind of what we’re preaching now because we have life and an opportunity to get back to the top. So we’re just taking it one game at a time, and today was a good start getting back on the winning side.”
Keya Daniels led the way for the Lady Pirates as she scored 11 points while Marquesia Heidt and Shakardia Cowart each contributed eight points.
The Lady Pirates improve to 11-6 overall and 2-2 in Region 2-6A play. Up next for both teams is a matchup against Coffee County today with the girls game slated for 6 p.m.