Girls Varsity Basketball · Lady Panthers fall to Beech

Curtis Marlin

Portland Leader

Feb 7, 2018

The Portland girls were outscored 16-8 in the second quarter and lost to district leading Beech 54-33 Friday evening.

The Lady Panthers were playing without two starters in Mac Craddock (out with an injury) and Demaira Bell (flu) in facing the Bucs. After a closely played first period, the hosts took control of the contest with their second quarter offensive outburst to lead by 13 at halftime.

“We battled and we competed,” PHS coach Tony Hill said. “Beech is the best team in the region. We had two starters out and played kids we normally don’t play in Abbie (Tomlinson) and Mackenzie (Hodges).”

The first eight minutes ended with the Purple trailing 13-8 as Rachel Jennings scored all of her teams points. Beech came out with a strong second to take a 29-16 advantage into the locker room at halftime.

“They beat us on the glass,” Hill said. ” We also had 13 turnovers in the first half.”

Portland fell behind by 11 points in the second quarter, but Emily Brown made a free throw and Jennings sank a pair to close the gap by eight, 19-11. The Lady Panthers would get no closer as the Bucs took a 13-point edge at the break.

Deshiya Hoosier opened the second half on a 3-point bucket and added two foul shots for a 34-16 Beech margin. Sami Parker scored inside the paint, but Beech connected on a 3-pointer and two charity tosses to go up 39-18.

Jennings and Cole scored for the Purple to trim the deficit by 17, 39-22. The Lady Bucs scored another long range basket from Mia Dean and Hoosier netted a jumper for a 22-point edge, 44-22.

Jennings would close out the quarter with a floater that left the Lady Panthers behind 44-24 heading into the final eight minutes of play.

Beech started the fourth period by scoring six straight points to open a 26-point advantage. Haley Dickens and Jennings made consecutive shots to trail 50-28 with two minutes remaining.


After a 5-0 run by Beech, the Lady Panthers finished up the scoring as Taylor Cole tossed in a 3-pointer and Jennings netted two at the foul line.

Jennings had a team high 19 points with Cole contributing five, Parker scored four, Tomlinson and Dickens each had two and Emily Brown contributed one.

Portland made 11 field goals in the contest.

Lady Panthers lose in OT to Hendersonville

On Jan. 30, the Lady Panthers lost a heartbreaker to Hendersonville by a 55-54 margin in overtime.

“We were up by two with .07 seconds left,” Hill explained. “Hendersonville gets their kid free and she makes the catch and makes a shot to tie the score. She gets fouled and makes the free throw to win the game. It was a tough pill to swallow.”

The Lady Panthers led by five points in overtime, but couldn’t hold on to the lead that led to the Commandos’ winning play.

“We had opportunities to put the game away,” Hill pointed out. “Hendersonville made plays down the stretch. We are four possessions from being 14-10 overall instead of 10-14. I keep telling the girls to keep working hard. Good things happen to those that do work hard.”

The Purple led 10-7 after one period of action, but faced a 20-18 deficit at halftime. The Commandos extended that lead to four, 32-28 after three quarters and the game was tied 43-43 at the end of regulation.

Jennings had a game high 26 points that included five, 3-point shots including two in the fourth period and a pair in the overtime. Bell finished with eight, Dickens and Parker each netted seven, Brown contributed four and Cole rounded out the scoring with two.

Chelsey Burton topped the Lady Commandos with 24.