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Portageville wins conference tourney

Sunday, February 5, 2006

(Photo)
Portageville's Marcus Green drives around Felix Spates.
MALDEN - The Portageville Bulldogs basketball team captured the Bootheel Conference Tournament championship on Friday night, with a 76-62 win over the South Pemiscot Bulldogs at Malden High School.

Outstanding shooting, quality defense and rebounding was Portageville's recipe for victory. Portageville hit 27 two-point field goals and had five 3-

pointers. The Portageville defense held all-stater Anthony Jones of South Pemiscot to zero points in the first half. Portageville won the battle on the boards with a 28-19 rebounding advantage.

"Big win for the team and for the town of Portageville," said Portageville head coach Jim Bidewell. "The kids played hard tonight and after some defensive adjustments, we responded well and got on a run."

South Pemiscot looked like a team on a mission to start the contest.

Working the ball down into the post for a majority of their points, South Pemiscot led 13-4 as Chance Rucker and Felix Spates were dominant early in the first quarter.

Portageville started the game in a zone defense, but quickly moved to a man defense after the start of South Pemiscot.

"South Pem was killing us in our zone defense," said Bidewell. "Coach Burton (Portageville assistant coach) suggested on the sideline that we move to a man-to-man defense. I was hesitant at first, but I took Aaron's (Burton) advice. He talked me into it and I am glad I listened to him."

Down by nine late in the first, junior Trey Mosby led Portageville back with six points and four rebounds. South Pemiscot had a 15-10 lead after the quarter.

South Pemiscot (16-4) worked over the Portageville zone, but it was a whole different story against the man-to-man. Portageville blanketed the guards of South Pemiscot and didn't allow any penetration in the lane. With a beefed up defense, Portageville started to click on offense.

Behind three 3-pointers from Patrick Morton in the second quarter, Portageville raced out on a 13-2 run and eventually outscored South Pemiscot by 16 points in the second, 23-7. At the half, Portageville led 33-22.

Spates led South Pemiscot at halftime with eight points and five rebounds. Antony Jones had five points and three assists.

"We struggled with their defensive pressure," said South Pemiscot head coach Chris Moore. "After our good start, we started to play too much one-on-one and it got us out of our early rhythm. We could not get over the hump after we fell behind in the second (quarter)."

Mosby led Portageville at half with 10 points and eight rebounds. With three 3's in the first half, Morton had nine points at half. Marcus Greene chipped in with eight points by halftime for Portageville.

To start the second half, Anthony Jones of South Pemiscot seemed on a mission not to duplicate his first half performance.

Driving hard to the lane and scoring on some incredible acrobatic shots in the paint, Jones poured in 12 points in the third quarter for South Pemiscot.

While Anthony Jones was a one-man show for South Pemiscot in the third, Portageville got some help off the bench from Leonard Boyd.

Scoring six of his eight points in the quarter, Boyd, despite his 5-foot-9 stature, was a force down in the paint and scored his buckets from no further than 5-feet out.

Mosby and Morton continued to have good games. Mosby scored seven points in the third quarter for Portageville, while Morton hit another big 3-

pointer to put Portageville up 53-39 heading into the final quarter.

Anthony Jones scored 13 points in the fourth, but while South Pemiscot was limited besides Jones, Portageville matched South Pemiscot bucket-for-

bucket in the fourth and won the championship 76-62.

"Portageville did everything right tonight," said Moore.

"They screened and moved well without the ball. Shot extremely well and hit the offensive boards with force. Portageville just wanted it more than we did tonight, give them all the credit."

Anthony Jones led South Pemiscot with 25 points, all in the second half of play. Zach Clay hit three 3's for South Pemiscot on his way to 12 points. Spates ended with 10 points and seven rebounds.

Mosby had an outstanding game for Portageville with 22 points and 11 rebounds (four offensive). Greene finished with 14 points and had four blocks. Morton had 12 points on four 3-pointers.

Cory Chamberlain had eight points and led Portageville with four assists and Jordan Bidewell also had eight points.

"I was proud of the way our kids kept their heads after a sporadic beginning to the second half," said Bidewell. "I thought the kids played good fundamental defense and buckled down at the right time to prevent South Pemiscot from getting back into the game. Like I said, good win for the kids and the program."

Portageville had 15 assists compared to 10 for South Pemiscot. Portageville committed 14 turnovers, while South Pemiscot committed 10 turnovers.

Portageville (12-6) travels to East Prairie on Tuesday.