By Josh Bronson

Pilot staff writer

After suffering their first loss of the year at the hand of the Del Norte Warriors, the Brookings-Harbor High School boys' basketball team bounced back and defeated the McKinleyville Panthers 61-53 at the Rotary Warrior Classic at Del Norte High School Tuesday.

The Bruins (7-1) jumped out to a 9-0 lead over the Panthers in the opening two minutes of play and finished out the first quarter with a 24-10 advantage.

andquot;We came out very well tonight,andquot; Coach Bryan Wood said. andquot;There were lapses, but we executed our offense a lot better tonight. When we execute and play our game, we're a really good team.andquot;

After the Bruins erupted for 24 first quarter points, the Panther defense was able to regroup and help the team compete the rest of the way.

The Bruins held a 16-point lead, 46-30, after three quarters of play, but the Panthers used a 23-15 fourth quarter that included a 9-0 run to cut the lead five on two different occasions.

But the Bruins maintained their composure and closed out the game with an eight-point victory.

Kenton Bansemer led the Bruins in scoring for the fifth time this year with a game-high 16 points to go along with five steals.

Nick Taresh and Michael Holmes both scored season-highs as they dropped in 14 and 10 points, respectively.

Chase Bansemer had an all around solid game as he scored nine points, pulled down nine rebounds and handed out five assists.

Fred Corpening chipped in eight points to go along with nine rebounds and five assists.

A.J. Weber and Charles Chambers rounded out the scoring with two point apiece.

The Bruins hit their first bump in the road this season in the championship game of the 53rd annual Winner's Edge basketball tournament, losing to the Del Norte Warriors 52-32 Saturday.

andquot;We just didn't get it done, no excuses,andquot; Wood said. andquot;Overall, it's just one game and it's just one loss and that's the perspective that has to be kept.andquot;

The Bruins struggled to score from the get-go and only managed a season-low 11 points after two quarters.

By the third quarter, the Warriors built their lead to almost insurmountable proportions, taking a 47-19 lead into the fourth quarter.

In the fourth, the Bruins were able to bounce back and outscore the Warriors 13-5, their only quarter in which they scored in double figures.

andquot;Del Norte is a very good team who shoots very well and plays good defense,andquot; Wood said. andquot;They just wanted it more. They were a step ahead of us in every aspect of the game.andquot;

This was the first loss of the season for the Bruins and the first time they had been truly tested on the court.

andquot;We didn't go out to be undefeated this season,andquot; Wood said. andquot;We're out here to become a better basketball program each day. This is one of those things we have to turn into a positive.andquot;

K. Bansemer led the Bruins with nine points while Michael Wood hit a pair of 3-pointers for six points on the night.

C. Bansemer and Corpening each had five points while Taresh had three and Weber and Cody Cozad each had two.

The next game for the Bruins is at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 14 against St. Bernard's in their second game of the Rotary Warrior Classic at Del Norte High School.

The JV Bruins will be playing McKinleyville at 4 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 13.

In the latest 4A Boys Basketball Coaches Poll, the Bruins were ranked as the No. 3 team in the state.