Portageville, the third seed, saw its season come to a halt with a 50-42 loss to the No. 2-seed Twin Rivers Royals in the Class 3, District 1 semifinal at Malden on Thursday.
It was the Bulldogs' third loss in three meetings with the Royals this season.
On this night, Portageville (17-8) never seemed to get untracked or find an offensive rhythm.
Twin Rivers (21-7) defense may have had a hand in that.
"They've got four kids that shoot the ball very well and our mission was to make them put it on the floor at least once every time they made a catch," said Twin Rivers coach Jim Vaughan. "I thought, for the most part, we did a good job of executing that. They made some shots on us, and good teams will, but throughout the game our defensive mindset was real, real good in terms of not allowing them perimeter shots."
The Bulldogs' season scoring leader, junior Trey Mosby, was held to 13 points without a 3-pointer. Second leading scorer Marcus Greene finished with seven.
Cory Chamberlain paced Portageville with 15 points, including three treys. No other Bulldog had more than three points.
Yet, in spite of their offensive woes, the Bulldogs still managed to keep within striking distance for most of the ballgame.
Michael Lance, Twin Rivers' scoring star, led the Royals to a 13-6 first-
quarter lead with their first seven points of the period.
"He's carried us most of the year," said Vaughan of Lance, who finished with a game-high 26 points. "There's only been a couple of games where he's been denied being able to put up points, but he knows he has that responsibility (scoring) with everybody focusing on him and he steps up to play every single night."
Portageville, although still cold from the field, trailed only by nine (24-15) at the half, a margin the Twin Rivers coach felt should have been higher.
"We could have been up 15 or 16 at the half but for some of the silly possessions we had," said Vaughan, "but teenage kids are going to make mistakes."
The Bulldogs capitalized on back-to-back Twin Rivers' turnovers to open the second half as they pulled to within four at 24-20 on Chamberlains' 3-
pointer and Mosby's drive.
Said Vaughan, "We came out in the third quarter and was just horrible the first three possessions and they made their little run, but the kids were mentally tough through that and we sustained our lead."
Lance then reeled off three straight points to send the Royals up 27-20 lead, but the Bulldogs put together a 6-2 run to cut the lead again, 29-26, with about 2:30 left in the third.
It was Lance, who scored all nine of the Royals' points in the period, again to the rescue. He hit two free throws, then threw down a baseline dunk to close the quarter at 33-26.
In the fourth period, the Bulldogs, behind Chamberlain's quick five-points -- his third 3 and a jumper in the lane -- looked poised to make a serious run as they pulled to within two at 33-31.
Then Twin Rivers' senior Ryan Adams, who later proved to be the Royals' wild card, returned to the floor after sitting out much of the contest while in foul trouble.
Adams scored six straight points, sandwiched around a Greene field goal, to give the Royals a little breathing room at 39-33.
"Ryan Adams stepping up at the beginning of the quarter and taking some of the scoring pressure off Michael (Lance) really helped us," said Vaughan. It boosted us right there.
"His biggest deal this year is getting in foul trouble, but when he wants to play, he's awfully tough to defend. He's left-handed, he's long, has a good first step and shoots the ball good enough to where you have to get out and get him. He can definitely be a scoring factor."
With the score in Twin Rivers' favor at 41-35 with 3:32 remaining, the Bulldogs suffered a huge loss.
Marcus Greene, he Bulldogs' prime inside threat and tallest player at 6-foot
-2, was whistled for his fourth personal foul on an over-the-back call.
Greene, expressing his displeasure at the call, was then tagged with a technical foul which also counts as a personal, thus resulting in disqualification.
The Royals sank 5-of-6 free throws down the stretch to hold off the Bulldogs.
Twin Rivers advances to the district final against No. 1-seed Doniphan on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Top-seed Doniphan demonstrated why it is the fifth-ranked Class 3 team in the state with a convincing 66-39 rout of No. 4-seed Malden in a District 1 semifinal on Thursday.
"We defended well, did a really good job rebounding the ball and running our offense," said Doniphan coach Shawn Gibbs. "That was the three keys for us.
"When we defend well and rebound, we're pretty tough."
The Dons (25-3) came out of the gate with an eclectic offensive mix; scoring twice on putbacks, twice off steals, once on a 3-point shot and once on a conventional 3-point play, as they rushed to a 16-8 first-quarter lead.
"We try to come out and take control," said Gibbs. "We're pretty explosive offensively, but when we start getting those stops and rebounds, we've had quarters where we've held people to four or six points.
Six-foot-10 senior post Matt Rogers got involved in the offense in the second quarter with eight points and junior Adam Chandler chipped in with seven to lead the Dons to a 41-22 halftime lead.
Gibbs said, "I told the guys at halftime that we were up 19 and played pretty good defense, but I think we can play better than that. I said, 'if they don't score more than 19 in the second half, there's no way they can win the game and we held them to 17.'"
Rogers also made his presence felt on the defensive end with three blocks in the second period.
"He's such an intimidator in there, even when he doesn't have a great offensive game," said Doniphan coach Shawn Gibbs.
Rogers found plenty of offensive support from his teammates as four Dons finished in double digits, led by sophomore Charles Wilson with 17.
Rogers, who hit 8-of-8 from the charity stripe, and Carpenter had 14 each and Jason Switzer added 10.
"They've got so many weapons," said Malden coach Robert Ison. "If you slow Rogers down, then you've got the Wilson twins (Charles and Chandler), (Nick) Webb, Switzer and they just go on and on."
Switzer was the Dons' offensive catalyst in the third quarter with eight of the 13 points.
Even a 3-4 minute timeclock outage in the fourth quarter couldn't slow the Dons as they cruised to victory.
Malden, which had no scorers in double figures, was led by sophomore Mick Perkins with eight points.
"We didn't execute our offense," said Ison. "You can't stand around against Doniphan. They're already going to be putting pressure on you and, if you stand around, you're in trouble. We did a lot of standing and didn't guard well."
Added Ison, "But I do feel good about this season. We got off to a rough start, with some adversity, and wound up 17-9, a pretty good record, and we've got all those juniors who'll be back next year. So, we've got something to build on and look forward to."
Doniphan faces Twin Rivers for the district title on Friday at 7:30 p.m.