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Portal Panthers sweep region rival Johnson County

Portal Panthers sweep region rival Johnson County

Portal Panthers sweep region rival Johnson County

    PORTAL — Johnson County knows how to score in the paint.
    Once Portal took the post game away, it was smooth sailing as the Panthers ran away from the region-rival Trojans 64-50 Tuesday.
    The Panthers (12-6, 6-2 Region 3W-A) proved they could take care of business in the paint, too. Sophomore forward Corey Reese scored a game-high 19 points from the block and pulled in seven rebounds.
    “I thought the guards did a good job of getting him the ball when he got down there and got big,” said PHS coach Jeff Brannen about Reese. “He did a good job of converting.”
    Junior forward Isiah Rich added 12 points and eight rebounds, but it was freshman point guard Stacey Morgan who finished with a double-double. He hit a pair of 3-pointers on the way to 14 points and pulled in a game-high 12 rebounds. He also tallied three steals.
    Johnson County guard D.J. Rozier went nuts in the first quarter scoring eight of the Trojans’ 13 points, but the Panthers held serve, taking a 16-13 lead into the second quarter.
    That was when Portal broke the game wide open.
    “We made some adjustments and started sagging on the back end on defense,” Brannen said. “They had a bunch of leapers, and our weak spot is rebounding, so we wanted to cut the drive off. D.J. Rozier likes to drive, and he’s the heart of that team. We cut the drive off and made him give up the ball.”
    The Panthers out-rebounded JCHS 13-5 in the second period, and the Trojans couldn’t buy a bucket, shooting just 1 of 11 from the floor and 2 of 6 from the foul line as Portal built a 31-17 halftime lead.
    Zach Walker was the leading Johnson County scorer, finishing with 17 points.
    Rozier earned a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
    Robert Lee scored 12 points and hauled in eight rebounds for the Panthers.
    Portal returns to region play when it heads up the road to Twin City to take on Emanuel County Institute Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Lady Panthers 55, Lady Trojans 49
    The Portal Lady Panthers went back and fourth in the second half with Johnson County, but held on for a 55-49 win Tuesday.
    Boshna Williams led the Panthers with 13 points and Nikki Sims added 12 in the win.
    “They’re seniors, and as captain and co-captain, they settle down the girls,” said PHS coach Gwen Ford. “They work well together, and it’s their last year, they do a great job on the court and off the court. I look to them to control the floor and settle them down.”
    The Panthers got ahead to an early lead, but JCHS scored 25 points in the second quarter and Portal led just 33-31 at halftime.
    The tight play continued through the third as PHS led 43-42 heading into the fourth, but the Panthers kept the Trojans away from the foul line as they scored in the paint.
    “They came back, played good defense and didn’t foul,” said Ford. “They made their inside shots when it counted at the end.”
    Portal travels to Emanuel County Institute Friday at 6 p.m.

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

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