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Brandon soccer takes fall this time

The Brandon boys soccer team suffered a 4-0 loss to Class 5A, District 8 rival King in the championship game of the Wharton Invitational. The Eagles and Lions tied (0-0 and 1-1) in two meetings this season.

On their way to the finals last Saturday, the Eagles saw stellar play from forward Derek Goforth. He scored the match's lone goal in Brandon's 1-0 opening round win against Plant City and had a hat trick in the Eagles' 6-0 semifinal win against Sickles.

Brandon may get another shot at the Lions, with the district tournament kicking off Monday at King. Brandon remains the top seed for the event. East Bay is the No. 2 seed, and the host Lions are seeded third.

BOYS BASKETBALL: The Brandon Eagles topped East Bay 66-39 in their first game without leading scorer Zaronn Cann.

Cann, a junior, will be out for the rest of the season with a knee injury; he is expected to have surgery within two weeks and spend six to nine months recovering.

Ranked No. 2 in Class 5A, Brandon loses a player who averaged 18 points and nine rebounds a game.

Jonathan Banks and Drew Rodwel picked up the slack, scoring 18 and 12 points, respectively.

In other contests, Riverview used balanced scoring to rout King 79-56 while Tampa Bay Tech relied on its top threat to slip past Bloomingdale 64-60.

The Sharks opened the game with an 11-0 run and had five players score in double figures. Jeff Kovacs scored 25 points, Steve Walker, 14, Nolan Ward, 13, Jonathan White, 13, and Pat Wongey, 10.

Tech, meanwhile, got another great effort from forward Demetrius Edwards in its four-point win over the Bulls. Edwards scored 30 points, including an 8-for-10 effort from the free throw line. Devon Shorter added 10 points for the Titans, while Bloomingdale was led by Theo Smalling's 13 points.

Tonight, Armwood hosts Tech, Brandon is at Middleton, Durant is at Sarasota Riverview, East Bay is at Plant and Newsome hosts Freedom.

GIRLS BASKETBALL: Chi Chi Okpaleke scored 20 points and Rebekah Barnes added 18 in Tampa Bay Tech's 76-40 rout of Brandon on Jan. 20. Other scores included Armwood topping Sickles 54-37, Durant defeating Sarasota 58-51, East Bay getting past Newsome 41-40 and Riverview besting Plant City 44-38.

In games scheduled for Monday, Bloomingdale is at East Bay, Armwood hosts Brandon, Durant is at Tampa Bay Tech and Riverview is at Wharton.

FOOTBALL: Tampa Bay Tech linebacker Cedrick Maxwell has orally committed to attend Kent State. At 5 feet 11, 215 pounds, Maxwell can play the linebacker or defensive back positions for the Golden Flashes. Maxwell chose Kent State over Ball State, Tennessee State and Florida Atlantic.

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