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Brunswick too much for PHS

    PORTAL — Theo Brunner and the Brunswick Pirates were a little too long and a little too strong for Portal.
    Twice, the Panthers dug out of double-digit holes, but in the end ran out of steam as the Pirates won 75-58 Tuesday at the Portal Holiday Classic.
    Brunner led all scorers with 21 points, blocked four shots and added six rebounds.
    Brunswick (8-1) was all over the Panthers in the early going, jumping ahead to a 21-6 first-quarter lead.
    Portal (5-2) shot just 2 of 14 from the floor in the first period, and was out-rebounded 14-6.
    After missing the first two field-goal attempts of the second quarter, the Panthers went on a tear, hitting nine of the next 10 shots. Trailing 26-12 early in the second, they went on a 15-6 run to cut it to 32-27 on a 3-pointer by Jamie Hagins.
    The Pirates led 36-27 at halftime.
    A 16-7 run to start the third quarter allowed BHS to pull away.  
    “In the third quarter they just came out and took over again, and that was the difference in the ballgame,” said Portal coach Jeff Brannen. “We’ve got to learn how to be a little tougher sometimes. Our problem is we get in the habit and get out-rebounded. We’re playing four guards at one time, and those teams with a lot of length give us a lot of trouble.”
    The Panthers had one last charge left at the beginning of the fourth quarter after Brunswick took a 25-point lead — it’s largest advantage of the game — to go ahead 63-38 on a Jaamond Kelly steal and score. Kelly came off the bench for eight points off of four steals.
    Another Hagins 3, his third of the evening, sparked a 9-0 PHS run to cut it to 63-47, but that was when the Panthers ran out of gas.
    “When you dig yourself such a hole, one possession here and one possession there, that’s the difference in the ballgame,” Brannen said. “We cut it down to about 15, and the next thing we know it’s 22 again. We had some opportunities and we didn’t capitalize. It was just a tough game, but as a coach, you want to play tough teams. It can only make you better.”
    Tobiasa Hose scored 12 points and hauled in nine rebounds for Brunswick, and Khalil Norman added nine points.
    Hagins led the scoring for Portal with 17. Isaiah Rich finished with 12, and so did Stacy Morgan with the help of a pair of late 3s.
    Portal returns to action on day two of the Portal Holiday Classic today at 7:30 p.m. against Savannah Country Day. Brunswick faces Bryan County at 4:30 p.m. and McIntosh County Academy plays Emanuel County Institute at 6 p.m.

    Matt Yogus can be reached at (912) 489-9408.