PORTAGEVILLE - The Portageville Bulldogs improved to 14-2 on the season with a 58-43 win over the Malden Green Wave in a Bootheel Conference matchup on Friday night at Portageville gymnasium.
Portageville has now won six straight games since Christmas.
The Bulldogs dominated from the start, leading 20-10 after one quarter and 39-15 at the half.
But even with the strong first half showing, Bulldog head coach Jim Bidewell was disappointed in his team's performance in the second half.
"We played fairly well in the first half, not great -- we just played in spurts," said Bidewell. "In the second half we came out and stunk it up. The seniors didn't respond well when we came out of the locker room. The guys on the bench didn't seem like they were ready to play. We won, but that's about all the positive things you can say about it."
The Green Wave outscored the Bulldogs 28-19 in the second half but the lead was too much to overcome.
"In the second half I thought our kids still played hard even though they had to come out and try to save face," said Malden head coach Ashley McMillian. "It could've gotten real ugly but it only ended up a 15-point ballgame. (Portageville is) a pretty strong team. In the years past they've had a couple of kids that really stood out for them. This year they don't have that. They've got five kids on the floor and any one of them can hurt you at any time."
The Bulldogs had tremendous balanced scoring on the night. J.T. Williams was the only double figure scorer with 12 points. In all, 12 different Portageville players scored.
"They're going to score because they run their offense so well," said McMillian. "They're like a fine machine offensively, really they're like robots. You can prepare for them but we just didn't stop them."
The Green Wave trailed just 13-10 when the Bulldogs ended the first quarter on a 7-0 run. The Bulldogs extended the lead to 30-10 before the Green Wave could snap the scoring drought, which ended up being a 17-0 run.
Malden (7-7) only managed five points in the second quarter.
"You can't beat very many people scoring five points in a quarter, especially not a Portageville team," said McMillian. The Green Wave didn't help themselves from the free throw line, making just 10-of-23 while also missing three front ends of one-and-ones.
Mario Payne led the Green Wave with 10 points.
The Bulldogs will be off until next Saturday when they host the Sikeston Bulldogs for homecoming at 6 p.m.
"We were glad to win a conference game and our kids have played some good ball the last several games," said Bidewell. "I guess I'm selfish to think we're going to play that way every game. But that's what we expect and when we don't play that way it's not very fun."