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Portal powers past Claxton in Region 3-A action

PORTAL — The Portal Panthers may have moved to the other side of Region 3-A this season, but make no mistake, Claxton is still a rival.

Portal, which dominated the boards to the tune of 51-35, ran away from the Tigers in a 62-48 win Saturday to win their second straight to remain unbeaten in 2011.

Dontre Williams made his presence known with a career-high 16 points to lead the way for the Panthers.

"He’s a hard-nosed worker," said Portal coach Jeff Brannen about Williams. "He battles in there and he’s strong. He gave us an inside presence. He’s not very tall, but he makes up for it with his hustle and his effort and he energized the other guys. He played big, and it got contagious."

Isiah Rich scored only six points in the effort, but hauled in 16 rebounds and spread the ball around with eight assists.

When the Panthers (7-4) led 12-11 after the first quarter, it was Rich that sparked a 17-0, second-quarter run to give PHS a cushion.

Rich was involved on both sides at the start of the second period, dishing the first two buckets to Williams and Robert Lee, then scoring one of his own to make it 18-11. The run continued with three more Rich assists and five Claxton turnovers and the Portal lead grew to 29-11 after Jamie Hagins, who finished with a double-double (13 points, 12 rebounds), hit the second of four 3-pointers.

The Tigers (7-3) didn’t score in the quarter until a LaBron Glover free throw with 3:52 to go until the break, and didn’t hit their first field goal until Jamel McKinnon sank a layup with 1:01 remaining until halftime.

Claxton scored nine-straight and trailed 29-20 at the break.

Glover (19 points) was held to just three points in the first half, but scored the first 11 CHS points of the third quarter. His 3-pointer that capped the scoring spurt cut it to 32-29 midway through the third.

"Claxton made a run and we had to double the ball a little bit to get it out of some of their key players’ hands," Brannen said.

Portal led 39-35 with three seconds remaining in the third quarter when Hagins applied the final blow. He was fouled and missed the second free throw, but got his own rebound and drilled a 3 as the period expired to put the Panthers ahead 43-35.

Lee scored in double digits with 10, and along with Williams and Rich, did most of his scoring under the basket.

"We got some points in the paint, which was good," said Brennen. "We’ve been struggling just being an outside shooting team and you’ve got to be able to establish the inside against teams that rebound and are tough in the paint."

Glover pulled in eight rebounds to lead Claxton along with his 19 points, and Trey Heirs added 10.

Portal returns to action Tuesday when it hosts Jenkins County at 7:30 p.m. Claxton hosts Calvary Day on Tuesday at the same time.

 

Lady Tigers 46, Lady Panthers 34

Devonna Brewton and Mariah Morgan each scored 12 points as the Claxton Lady Tigers held on to defeat Portal 46-34 Tuesday.

Shiann Hagins of Portal led all scorers with 14 points.

Both squads return to the court Tuesday at 6 p.m. The Lady Panthers host Jenkins County and Claxton hosts Calvary Day.

 

Matt Yogus can be reached at (912) 489-9408.

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