Dec 26, 2018
The Portland girls got off to a rough start but nearly pulled out a win on Dec. 18 in absorbing a 32-27 loss to Greenbrier on the road.
The Purple didn’t score in the first quarter until after the buzzer when Daley McCloud was fouled on a last-second shot attempt. Portland managed five points in the second period and added five in the third.
In the fourth, the Lady Panthers outscored Greenbrier 15-5 but went the final 3:01 without a field goal until MacKenzie Hodges popped in a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
“You never win a game in the first three minutes, but you can lose a game in the first three minutes,” PHS coach Scott Steinbrecher explained. “We got ourselves in a hole and couldn’t overcome it. We have to get off to a better start. I thought the last three quarters, we played our butts off.”
The Lady Panthers made a pair of field goals in the opening 16 minutes of action in falling behind early while Greenbrier connected on eight of 25 attempts that included three, 3-pointers.
“I’m not sure why we got off to slow starts,” Steinbrecher said. “It might be nerves, but we have played ten games. It could be we are still trying to find the right five combinations. We need eight girls to be calm and tonight, we had six.”
Portland trailed 19-7 at halftime and faced a 27-12 deficit heading into the fourth period.
Hodges spearheaded the comeback ten points including a pair of 3-pointers. Lexie Williams knocked home a 3-pointer to start the offensive surge with Hodges recording another shot from the 3-point stripe and Sami Parker collected an offensive rebound to close the difference by six, 30-22.
Hodges sank two free throws at the 3:01 mark and the gap was six, 30-24. The Lady Bobcats made two foul shots to create a 32-24 advantage.
Portland wouldn’t score again until Hodges nailed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
The Purple finished the night by making nine of 48 field goal attempts and netted six of seven at the line.
Greenbrier concluded the evening by firing in 11 of 39 field goals.
Hodges scored ten points to top the Lady Panthers with Parker finishing with nine. McCloud had five and Williams contributed three.
Kayla Conquest and Snowdan Scott led Greenbrier with 10 apiece.
Portland travels to Pigeon Forge for a holiday tournament Dec. 27-29.