The Portal Panthers dropped a pair of region games to the visiting Savannah Christian RaidersTuesday night. The Portal boy’s came back from as much as a 14 points second half deficit before falling 55-52, while the girl’s fell 56-26.
Portal came out ice cold, but fought back in the second half. The Panthers actually trailed by 12 points with less than two minutes to go before making a valiant comeback attempt, that fell just short.
“We played really tough in the second half,” said Portal coach Jeff Brannen. “We were too stagnant in the first half. In the second half we decided we were going to come out playing man-to-man and come of screens, and be more physical. I feel like that was the difference, and hopefully we can play a whole game like that.”
Down by 10 with 1:52 to go Panther senior guard Dax Reddick appeared to get fouled while attempting a three pointer from the corner. No call was made, and in fact the Raiders Parker All stood on top of Reddick out of bounds.
Reddick complained to the official about no call being made, and was issued a technical foul. The crowd erupted in boos, and both technical free throws were made to put the Raiders up 51-39.
The Panthers fed off the crowd and started their run. Fred Spells made a layup, and drew a foul, cutting the lead to 51-41. The Panthers stole the inbounds pass, and Garrett Fogel hit a three pointer cut the lead to 51-44. The Raiders turned the ball over once again, and this time Brian Ware hit a three to make it 51-47. Ware then stole the ball, passed ahead to Fogel for a layup to cut the lead to 51-49.
The Raiders were able to make both free throws, Fogel added another long three, but free throws by the Raiders iced the game, and ended up doing in the Panthers. Savannah Christian was 17-23 from the line, while Portal was just 7-20 in the game.
The Panther boys came out cold hitting on only 1-10 from behind the arc, and saw Savannah Christian jumped out to a 10-0 lead.
The Raiders used their size to score some easy baskets in the paint, while on the other side of the floor the Panthers struggled from the field. Savannah Christian built a 17-6 lead at the end of the first quarter of play, and went on to extend the lead to 28-16 at halftime.
“The first half really killed us,” Brannen said. “You can’t let a team like that jump out to a 10-0 lead. We really kind of walked through that first half, and we have to have more intensity for the whole game. These kids are still young, and we have to account for some growing pains.”
Portal was led by Brian Ware with 12 points, while Reddick and Fogel each had 11. Savannah Christian was led by Parker All with 15 points.
The Lady Panthers were coming off a win at home Saturday against Jenkins County. Fans, players and coaches complained about how warm it was in the gym Saturday night. Tuesday was just the opposite as an ice cold gym saw many fans using blankets to stay warm, and the Lady Panthers play was ice cold as well.
Portal trailed 24-8 at the end of the first quarter, and then saw the Lady Raiders extend the lead to 34-14 at the half.
The second half wasn’t much better as the Raiders continued to pour it on. Savannah Chrsitian was up 48-18, and the fourth quarter was shortened to six minutes because of the lopsided score.
“We came out flat from the beginning,” said Portal coach Huey Williams. “We told them you can’t come out flat against a good team. It’s a little frustrating because we played well Saturday against Jenkins County. We also lost Tierra Lee, and that really hurt us tonight.”
No Panther player cracked double figures, as Keely Thomas led the way with eight points. Paige Dennis led the Raiders with 16 points. Portal falls to 5-12 on the season. Up next the Panthers travel to McIntosh County Academy on Friday.
Elsewhere Tuesday night the Statesboro Blue Devils swept South Effingham on the road. Theboys won 59-37 behind a game high 19 from Zarion Griffin. The Lady Devils won 71- Jamaiah Jones and Lacy Robins each had 20 points in the win. Both the Blue Devils improve to 4-0 in region play.
The Bulloch Academy Gators swept Westfield on the road in Perry Tuesday night. The Lady Gators won 49-43. Kacie Ricketts led the Lady Gators with 21 points. The Bulloch Academy boy’s won by the same exact score of 49-43. Bo Spence le the way with 18 points, while Chas Collins added 15.
Southeast Bulloch came from a 10-point deficit to knock off Benedictine 77-71. Khristian Clark led the way with 22 points, while A.J. Williams added 15.