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Portal making noise
Portal Basketball
Portal guard Elijah Coleman (2) rises up for a jump shot over Effingham County's Timothy Brown (4) during the Panther's win over the Rebels Saturday afternoon in Portal. - photo by JOSH AUBREY

The Portal Panthers pulled off an impressive sweep of Class 6-A Effingham County Saturday afternoon in Portal as the girls knocked off the Rebels 43-31 and the boys hung on in the final minutes to beat Effingham 52-51. 

The boys knocked off their second straight Class 6-A opponent as they beat Evans Friday night 62-60. The two teams struggled to score in the first quarter as Portal broke the drought with an Elijah Coleman three-pointer with 3:16 left in the first. The Panthers broke up a close first quarter by going on a 10-2 in the second as Portal opened up a 23-16 halftime lead. 

The Rebels were able to storm back late in the third quarter and took their first lead in the fourth. With time winding down and Efffingham up by one Elijah Coleman scored with less than 10 seconds to go putting Portal on top 52-51. The Rebels got the ball inside in the final seconds but Tucker Chester helped Elijah Coleman double team the Rebels center Jordan Goldwire and forced a miss as the final horn sounded. 

“We have really been playing defense well the first few games of the year,” said Portal coach Jeff Brannen. “The effort has been there and they are husting. Offensively things are starting to look a little better and as they continue to play together, I expect it will get better. Being in the smallest classification in the state and knocking off a couple of Class 6-A teams who both made it to the state layoffs gives our team a lot of confidence.” 

The Portal girls only won three games last year so to knock off a Class 6-A school for their first victory this year goes a long way to where head coach Huey Williams hopes the Panthers will be by the end of the season. 

“We let one slip away Friday to Evans but I’m proud of the way the girls came back tonight and were determined to win,” said Williams. “We played good offense in our loss to Evans, but we played tough defense tonight against Effingham. We have a bunch of freshmen and they are starting to get used to playing varsity games and I like the way we are heading.” 

Portal was led by Glen Lowe with 11 points which she scored all in the first half. Angel Cone had eight points and Millie Kingsberry had all of her seven points in the first half. 

The Portal boys continued to beat bigger schools Monday as the Panther’s took down new Hampstead in the Joe Greene tournament being held in Savannah by a score of 57-44. Marion Tremble led the Panthers in scoring with 13 points while Amir Jackson added 13 and Joseph Thomas had 11. 

Portal improves to 3-0 and will take on Forest Park Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. at Beach high School. 

The Statesboro Lady Blue Devils had come up on the short end of a couple of close games over the past few days. The Blue Devils fell 43-41 to Veterans Saturday in the Hardwood Invitational at Warner Robins. They then dropped a 62-57 decision to Hilton Head Christian Monday in Savannah. Alyssa Staten had 20 points and 15 rebounds while Reya Johnson had 16 points. Statesboro falls to 1-2 and will next take on Bulloch Academy Tuesday at 1:00 in Savannah at Calvary Day School. 

The Bulloch Academy Gators continue their gauntlet of a schedule as they lost to Bradwell 65-52 Friday and then dropped a 58-38 decision Monday to Calvary Day. Armani Cooke led the way in Monday’s loss with 13 points while Sophie Strickland added nine points. The Gators will take on Statesboro at 1:00 Tuesday at Calvary. 

The Southeast Bulloch boys beat South Effingham 67-58 Saturday afternoon in Brooklet. Collin Smith led the Jackets in scoring with 16 points while Christian Linen added 11 points. The Jackets weren’t so lucky Monday as they fell to Glynn Academy 69-20. SEB is off till Dec. 3 when they travel to South Effingham.