By Curtis Marlin Portland Leader
The Portland boys improved to 3-0 on the season with a 47-29 win on Nov. 20 over visiting Westmoreland. The Panthers raced out to a 13-3 first quarter advantage in remaining unbeaten.
“We had four kids in foul trouble because we fouled too much off the dribble,” coach Darryl Travis said. “But we took the early lead and would have lost the game if it wasn’t for that.”
Portland made 16 of 36 shot attempts and connected on 13 of 23 free throws.
“Westmoreland outrebounded us by eight tonight,” Travis pointed out. “We had four offensive rebounds. It’s frustrating with our offense. We would like to be playing better.”
The Eagles made 10 field goals including four, 3-point buckets.
The Purple dominated the first period by jumping out to a 10-0 lead.
DeQuan Bradley and Dairius Bell each scored inside, Austin Hicks fired in a 3-pointer, Bell added a bucket and Hicks drilled one foul shot for the 10-point margin.
The Eagles got on the scoreboard when Jevon Rickman nailed a 3-point shot late in the first period.
Portland had a pair of 16-point leads in the second quarter as Duncan Smallwood fired in a 3-point basket for a 21-5 spread and later popped in a 10-footer to give the Purple a 23-7 edge.
Westmoreland clawed back in the contest as Ryker Hodge recorded a pair of shots from the 3-point stripe and Rickman added a long-range shot to trim the deficit by seven, 23-16 with 1:05 left in the half.
Portland’s Caeson Utley wrapped up the scoring with a foul shot to give the Purple a 24-16 margin at the break.
Connor Simmons opened the third quarter with a pair of shots as Portland regained their double-digit lead at 26-16. Each team made a charity toss and Jace Helson scored for the Eagles before Bell and Hicks closed out the third with consecutive baskets and a 33-19 lead.
Smallwood and Simmons tallied to open the final eight minutes of action and later, Bell sank two free throws and Simmons scored three for a 44-25 margin. Kirby Pickerton soft jumper left the Eagles trailing before Mitchell Eagle connected on three of four foul shots.
Bell paced the Panthers with 10 points with Simmons netting nine and Smallwood and Bradley each chipping in with eight. Hicks added seven and Eagle finished with five.
Hodge topped the Eagles with 12 and Rickman had six.
Portland will travel Westmoreland this Friday for a rematch with the Eagles and play at White House Heritage on Dec. 4.