It was ironic that the fire alarm went off in the first half of Saturday night’s game between Portal and Bryan County as both teams were ice-cold for most of the first two quarters. The Panthers were able to turn things around in the second half though and went on to record a 55-36 victory.
The Panthers (9-7) looked sharp out of the gates as Craig Ware came up with a rebound and a putback to give Portal an 8-2 lead 4:50 into the game.
Sloppy play the rest of the quarter allowed Bryan County (5-12) to get back into it, and a three-point play by Judarius Parker saw the Redskins trim the lead to 13-12 at the end of the first.
The turnovers and missed shots continued for both teams in the second quarter, before a Ronald Williams three-point play at the 3:06 mark gave Portal a 21-17 lead.
Bryan County was able to come back though and the game was tied 21-21 at the half. The Redskins could have had the lead if they were able to hit their free throws, as they were a dismal 10-for-27 from the line.
“If we could do it wrong, we did it wrong in the first half,” said Portal coach Jeff Brannen. “We didn’t have any intensity, no fire and we made adjustments at halftime.”
The Panthers put things away in the second half. An ally-oop from Taquwan Brinkley to Ronald Williams got things started. Portal’s 11-0 run to start the third quarter was capped off by a Connor Washington runner to make it 34-21 with 3:30 to go in the third. Portal kept on churning and built a 42-26 lead at the end of the quarter.
“We told the kids at halftime to have some fun, and we started putting on our press,” Brannen said. “The guys started playing off each other in the second half, and really got it rolling.”
In the fourth, the Panthers extended their lead again. Back to back baskets by Craig Ware made it 46-32 with 4:03 left in the quarter. Ware then hit a three-point play to make it 53-32 with 2:43 to go, and Portal rolled from there.
Portal was led by Williams and Craig Ware who each had 14 points. Syde Williams led the Redskins in scoring with 10 points.
Lady Redskins 53, Lady Panthers 16
The long season continues for the Portal girls who remain winless and are now 0-14 following a 53-13 setback against Bryan County Saturday night.
Bryan County (8-1) jumped out to a 16-3 first quarter lead, and were able to extend that to 22-8 at the half.
“We didn’t take care of the ball too well and turnovers killed us,” said Portal coach David Hodges. “We have to do a better job of playing the way we do in practice and the way they are coached.”
Things only got worse for the Panthers in the second half as Bryan County started the third quarter on a 10-0 run on the strength of a couple of baskets by Jay Black. The Redskins went on to open up a 36-14 lead.
In the fourth quarter it was more of the same, with Bryan County outscoring Portal 14-2, and going on to win by 17 points.
“One bright spot was the play of Kolbie Motes. I thought she played hard all night,” Hodges said. “We need to get better efforts from the entire team though and play together.”
Portal was led by Motes, Destiny Brown and Kaneshia Williams who each had four points.
The Panthers host Screven County, Tuesday, with the girls starting things off at 6 p.m. and the boys following.