The loss was the Bulldogs' fourth of the season and their first loss since the Christmas Tournament at Bloomfield, snapping an 11-game winning streak.
"We just did not come out ready to play, and we had to play catchup. You can't come into a championship game not ready. You don't try to play catchup against a good ball club,'' said Portageville coach Jim Bidewell.
"Defensively we were standing around. I guess we thought Caruthersville would kind of be in awe of us and not really attack us. They took it to the hole and we got out of their way,'' continued Bidewell.
Caruthersville took full advantage of Portageville's defensive lapses and built a 15-4 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Meanwhile the Tigers had five players to score with Plessie Ellitt's six leading the way.
The Bulldogs began to battle back in the second period with some balanced scoring of their own as five of them scored including a trey by freshman Trey Mosby.
Early in the period Caruthersville built its biggest advantage of the contest when they led by a 22-4 count.
Portageville played much better defensively also and held the visitors to 11 for the quarter. By intermission, Caruthersville led 26-14.
"The kids fought back and fought hard, but they didn't execute on offense and they got rattled and started playing independently. That didn't work at the beginning of the year so we'll have to pull together and come back as a team,'' concluded Bidewell.
In the third quarter Portageville played much better on both ends of the floor, scoring 12 while holding the Tigers to six.
Willie Hassell sparked the Bulldogs with six straight points with two coming on layups off steals to cut the Tiger advantage to six at 32-26.
The Bulldogs scored the first four points in the final period and trailed by only two at 32-30, but would not get any closer.
Caruthersville's Kyle Hubbard took control of the game from that point when he nailed two buckets and went 5-for-5 from the charity stripe to seal the win.
Caruthersville was led in scoring by Kyle Hubbard's 14. Dominic Branch got 10, and Plessie Ellitt added 11.
Portageville's Willie Hassell was the only Bulldog to reach double digits with a game-high 15.