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Portal boys, SEB girls get victories

PORTAL — The Portal Panthers (2-0) finished off their sweep of Southeast Bulloch Tuesday night with a 62-48 win at PHS. The game was called with 1:07 left in the third quarter due to moisture on the floor. The game was a more competitive contest than the 77-35 beating Portal put on the Yellow Jackets a week ago. The turning point seemed to be a 12-0 run by the Panthers at the start of the second quarter that made a 22-18 game 34-18. "I want to give Southeast Bulloch a lot of credit," said PHS head coach Jeff Brannen. "They came out and played real tough and shot the ball real well tonight." Southeast Bulloch (0-3) would cut the lead to 10 at halftime, 47-37, and that's where the lead hovered throughout the third quarter before the game was called. The Panthers pushed the margin to 18 at one point, but SEB never entirely faded. "It was a totally different game," said SEB head coach John Page. "Our kids have improved the last two times out and hopefully they'll continue to improve. I still think we have to do a better job of protecting the ball and we have to take it to the basket a little more to create fouls and get to the line." Southeast was 13-for-18 from the line while PHS was 15 of 18. Mario Farris led the Panthers with 17 points and opened the scoring with a one-handed jam. But the Yellow Jackets would answer with eight straight to take an 8-2 lead early in the first. Portal stormed back to take a 11-8 advantage with Justin Raymond scoring eight points during the flurry. The spurt came after the Panthers began using a 1-2-2 trap to force SEB into nine first-half turnovers. Despite the Panthers’ feisty D, Brannen still saw room for improvement. "The first half we gambled too much on defense and they got a lot of easy buckets that we didn't contend too well," he said. "We have to do a better job of getting the ball inside on offense and taking advantage of our inside play as well." Marquan Jackson added 15 and Fred Williams had 12 for PHS. Tony Raymond played an exceptional game for Southeast , scoring 16 and pulling down five rebounds. Lady Yellow Jackets 36, Lady Panthers 24 The Southeast Bulloch Lady Yellow Jackets outscored Portal 17-8 in the fourth quarter on their way to a 36-24 win Tuesday night at PHS. A defensive struggle for the first three quarters, SEB finally pulled away for their second straight win over the Lady Panthers. "We knew it was going to be tough," said Southeast head coach Milton Williams. "I'm glad we kinda fought through it and hung in there. We were able to get them out on the open court and get some easy baskets and get to the free throw line." The Jackets led by just three at 19-16 heading into the fourth, but quickly went on an 8-3 run to start the final period. Kacey Jones scored all five of her points in the quarter and opened the scoring with an easy lay-up off a pass from Brittany Carter to make the score 21-16. Portal would get as close as 29-24 just outside the two-minute mark, but failed to capitalize on SEB's 17 second-half turnovers. Southeast went 8- for-19 from the charity stripe and turned the ball over a total of 33 times. But their ability to slow the game down (literally, as at one point guard DeAnn Lewis stood at halfcourt with the ball on her hip) kept the Panthers from running their fast break offense. "We’ve got to (do that)," said Williams. "With our numbers and our lack of depth we have to run our offense." Southeast led 7-0 after the first quarter, but PHS quickly made it a 7-5 game after Bridgett Oglesby scored five straight. That was as close as PHS would get, as SEB pushed the lead to 13-8 at halftime. The Lady Panthers never led in the contest. Oglesby finished with 12 points and nine rebounds for PHS. Two Lady Panthers fouled out during the fourth quarter as PHS was held scoreless over the final two minutes. Akins breaks hand Southeast Bulloch starting point guard Lauren Akins suffered a broken hand in Saturday's loss to Statesboro. Akins will be out until January, according to Williams and Lewis. Christina Finnegan will share time at the position in her absence.

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