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Portal knocks off Cavaliers, 59-46

    SAVANNAH — It was, Portal Coach Jeff Brannen said, a typical matchup with Calvary Day School.
    “Tuesday night in Savannah playing Calvary,” Brannen said. “You know it’s always going to be a grind it out game when you play them here.”
    The Panthers rode a tenacious defense and deadly foul shooting to a 59-46 win over the Cavaliers who had a three-game winning streak snapped Tuesday night at the Calvary gym in a Region 3A-A game.
    Akeem Oglesby scored 22 points to lead the Panthers (14-5, 7-1) who won the fourth straight game after dropping back-to-back games to Claxton and West Laurens.
    Trailing by nine points at the half, 26-17, the Cavaliers (8-9, 4-4) whittled the deficit to six points, 39-33, going into the final quarter.
    Portal, however, refused to blink and with Calvary fouling in an attempt to catch up, Portal salted it away at the foul line making 20 of 25 foul shots for the game, and all 13 of its attempts in the fourth quarter.
    “We’re normally a good foul shooting team,” Brannen said. “We’re shooting about 70 percent on the season.
    “We played a little faster than I wanted in the fourth quarter, but we were able to get to the line and made them. The kids played hard and we executed well on defense. We cut down the easy baskets.”
    Tyler Budgett added 12 points for the Panthers. Leading scorer Trent Thomas, who entered the game averaging 18.1 points per game, was limited to nine, and point guard D’Von Moore scored five, six under his average.
    Thomas scored all of his points at the foul line while Moore did not score until 1:37 remained in the third quarter when he drove for a basket and was fouled. He made the free throw and got his final points on a layup with 15 seconds to play.
    Oglesby scored seven points in the fourth quarter, making all five of his free throws while Thomas was 6 for 6 at the line in the fourth.
    “Akeem is our best foul shooter,” Brannen said. “He’s shooting 86 percent at the line, and we want the ball in his hands in the fourth quarter. D’von didn’t score as much as he usually does, but he played well on the defensive end.”
    Calvary led 7-5 at the end of the quarter, but the Panthers scored the first six points of the second quarter, four by Marvin Prescott, to jump start an 18-6 run to take control of the game.
    The Cavs’ top three scorers—A.J. Keene (13.8), Robert Heyward (11.9), and Tyrone Riley (9.8)—were limited to a combined 11 points, 24 points under their average. Keene had seven and Heyward four. Riley did not score.