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Boys Varsity Basketball, Girls Varsity Basketball · Lady Panthers fall to district leader Lady Bucs


ZACH WOMBLE

Portland Sun

Feb 5, 2018

HENDERSONVILLE – Beech High School had little trouble against visiting Portland on Friday night, cruising to two wins on Coming Home night.

The Lady Bucs (20-5, 11-1) bounced back from a difficult loss on Tuesday night with a convincing 54-33 victory over the Lady Panthers. Portland had no answer for sophomore guards Shiya Hoosier, who netted a team-high 12 points, and Mia Dean, who poured in 10.

Not only was the offensive side of the floor working well for the Lady Bucs, but defensively they forced more than 20 Portland turnovers — including 13 in the first half — while also giving up just eight points the first three quarters.
“I thought we battled and competed,” Portland coach Tony Hill said. “This is the best team in the region, being at home plus not having two starters really hurt tonight.”

The Lady Panthers were without both Mac Craddock and Demaira Bell. Craddock is out for the rest of the season, while Bell was at home dealing with the flu. Both occupy the perimeter for Portland and not having two experienced ball handlers, as well as good shooters on the outside, spelled trouble for the Lady Panthers.

“You can’t have as many turnovers as we did tonight,” Hill said. “We had 13 in the first half and that is a games worth. Reality is when your two guard is home sick with the flu it is challenging. We played a lot of kids that don’t normally get a lot of varsity minutes and they played well, so I’m proud of them for that.”

The only bright spot on the offensive end of the floor was point guard Rachel Jennings. The senior guard scored a game high 19 points, 11 in the first half.

“For the second straight night, Rachel was really good,” Hill added. “She was really good and really kept us in the game, especially in the first half.”
Beech led 13-8 after the first quarter and 29-16 at the break following a 16-point quarter from Kristi Utley’s team which saw seven girls score in the second period.

The third quarter saw just three made field goals from the Lady Panthers while Beech seemingly couldn’t miss from the field as they pushed their 13-point halftime lead to 44-24 after 24 minutes.

Girls box score

Beech (54): Shiya Hoosier 12, Mia Dean 10, Kennedy Powell 8, Kendra Mueller 6, Taylor Nix 5, JC Swafford 5, Destiny Tinker 4, Maggie Medley 2, Ryleigh Piotto 2.
Portland (33): Rachel Jennings 19, Taylor Cole 5, Sami Parker 4, Haley Dickens 2, Abbie Tomlinson 2, Emily Brown 1.
Panthers no match for Bucs on Coming Home night

ZACH WOMBLE
zwomble@mainstreetmediatn.com

HENDERSONVILLE – Just like the girls game, the Beech Bucs had little trouble in their wire-to-wire victory over the Panthers.

Austin Hicks was the lone bright spot on offense for Portland, netting 24 points for Darryl Travis’ team.

“I just didn’t think we competed tonight,” Travis said. “That is what is most disappointing. We were not ready to play and they (Beech) were. How many times did you see us run crisp cuts on offense, or did we look like a bunch of old church league guys running around.”
The unfortunate reality for Portland was they were the latter. Beech looked to be in a fifth gear all game long, while the Panthers struggled to get their engine started, and when it finally did start, they were stuck in first gear.

Travis was very quick to give the credit to Beech, but was not shy about his disappointment with his team’s performance.

“We didn’t cut with a purpose, we didn’t move with a purpose and I just think it was an overall lack of effort tonight by our guys,” he added. “Beech came to play and we didn’t; we didn’t meet the challenge tonight. Tonight, was a letdown. This is not who I want Portland to be.”

The Bucs jumped out to a seven-point first-quarter lead, which ballooned to 19 points at halftime following a six-point scoring quarter for the Panthers. Guard Austin Hicks paced the Panthers at the break with 12 of his team’s 20 first-half points.

Both teams struggled to find the bottom of the net in the third period, but an 11-6 scoring advantage was the nail in the coffin. The loss drops Portland to 8-17, 0-12 in District 9-AAA play.
“We’ve been close so many times,” Travis said. “We’ve played hard all season but tonight was a letdown. Apparently, I’m not doing a good enough job of keeping their spirits high. We’ve shown we can play with the top dogs but we can’t go into the tournament and play like that. We have to put forth more effort than that moving forward.”

Boys box score

Beech (65): Jayson Brown 24, Mitchell Sorenson 10, AJ Robertson 8, Jake Butler 8, Leroy Blackwell 6, Nelson Smith 5, Seth Holmes 2, George Roberson 2.

Portland (48): Austin Hicks 24, Bryce Keith 8, Peyton Martin 6, Luke Jones 5, Dawson Simmons 3, Mitchell Eagle 1, Grant Cook 1.