GIBSONTON — On Thursday, Brandon High’s boys basketball team walked into East Bay’s gymnasium undefeated.
It was also the Eagles’ fist meeting against East Bay since they lost to the Indians in last year’s Class 7A district championship.
East Bay junior guard Jon Jean suspected the Eagles wanted payback and then some, with Thursday’s contest being a 7A-District 7 game. Jean responded with a game-high 18 points along with three assists and two steals to lead East Bay to a 46-30 win.
“We knew they would come out hard, and we had to come out harder,” said Jean, who made all but two shot attempts.
Jean had 10 points at the half, which included two 3-point baskets.
“A lot of people have been doubting my shot,” said Jean, a Western Conference Player of the Year as a sophomore. “I had confidence in my shot, and it opened things up for my teammates.”
Junior Rico Edwards added eight points, eight rebounds, three steals and two assists for the Indians (4-1, 2-1).
Dante Mitchell led Brandon (4-1, 2-1) with eight points and five rebounds.
“We were out of sync tonight,” Brandon coach J.J. Turner said.
Turner suspended his top scorer from Thursday’s game, but said it was no excuse.
“It started in the first quarter,” he said. “When layups don’t fall, it’s contagious.”
East Bay led 24-14 at the half and by as many as 19 points.
“We had to make them play solid defense and take advantage of our guards,” East Bay coach Billy Teeden said.