PORTAL — Good news and bad for the Portal boys on Tuesday. The good — they outscored Savannah Christian 28-23 in the second half. The bad — Savannah Christian outscored them 36-11 in the first half, resulting in the Red Raiders winning 59-39.
Savannah Christian came into the game 6-2 (3-1) having returned all five starters from a year ago. Portal 3-4 (3-2) was coming off a pair of region wins against Claxton and McIntosh County Academy and looked to be on a bit of a roll, but that came to a screeching halt Tuesday.
The Red Raiders came out red-hot, jumping out to a 14-0 lead, and at the end of the first quarter the Panthers were in an 18-2 hole.
“We got behind early, and give Savannah Christian credit for that,” said coach Jeff Brannen. “They did what they do. They zoned us up and got off to a hot start with some three-pointers, and we were fighting an uphill battle all night long.”
The Red Raiders hit only one basket from behind the arc in the second quarter, but were able to get the ball in the paint, and would go on to lead 36-11 at the half.
Portal’s leading scorer Ronald Williams didn’t even score in the first half. Williams did manage to come through with 15 points in the third quarter, but by then the lead was 18 and Portal ended up falling by 20 points.
“I know it’s tough mentally to come back from being down 18-2,” said Brannen, “But you have to play four quarters of basketball. We told the kids at halftime to go out and compete, and I was happy to see they were able to at least do that in the second half.”
Portal was led by Williams with 15, Connor Washington added 7. Savannah Christian was paced by Justin Anderson with 12 points, Lance McKenzie and George Haurley each had 11.
The long season continues for the Portal Lady Panthers who fell to 0-7 (0-5) on the season as they dropped a 49-15 decision to Savannah Christian.
The Red Raiders came into the game on a three game losing streak and things were fairly close in the early stages of the game, as Portal trailed 12-5 in the first quarter. Savannah Christian then held Portal to two field goals the rest of the game, as they ended up winning by 34 points.
“Our energy was actually pretty terrible tonight,” said coach Cliff Hubbard, “We acted like we didn’t want to be here, and it showed on the scoreboard. Savannah Christian is a good team, but we sure didn’t help ourselves too much.”
Portal is winless on the season but nearly beat Treutlen County last Tuesday before falling 31-30, and then hung in with Claxton Friday night before falling 35-20. Hubbard is hoping the Panthers can rebound from Tuesday’s lopsided loss to the Red Raiders.
“We will watch the film and talk about our mistakes, but we won’t dwell on it too much,” said Hubbard, “We have about a week before we play again. Hopefully we can get a few get practices in and turn this thing around.”
Portal was led by Tierra Lee with 6 points. Savannah Christian’s leading scorer was Macy Shelley with 16 points. Up next Portal travels to Wheeler County December 22.