BLOOMFIELD -- The Portageville Bulldogs advanced to the fifth place game in the Bloomfield Christmas Tournament after holding off the Bloomfield Wildcats 53-46 Friday afternoon.
Portageville led for most of the game and held a 14-point lead, 32-18 with four minutes left to play in the third. But that is when Bloomfield mounted their comeback.
A Leighton Hensley layup cut the Portageville lead to 39-38 with five minutes remaining in the game but the Bulldogs' Terrale Jones scored six-straight points to put the game away.
"Our kids kept battling," said Portageville coach Jim Bidewell. "We're still not where we need to be, but at least they are trying to make an effort to do what we tell them. It's kind of ugly right now because we're still learning."
Portageville was able to hold off the Wildcats by grabbing a number of rebounds in the fourth quarter, something Bidewell was pleased to see.
"We've lost some games because we didn't rebound and I think our kids are realizing that as small as we are we have to rebound every possession," Bidewell said. "We still gave up some rebounds that I think we should have had, but we're making small improvements."
Portageville fell behind early in the contest but took advantage of seven Wildcat turnovers that led to a 9-0 run to end the first quarter in the Bulldogs advantage 11-6. Portageville forced 22 turnovers on the day while limiting their own turnovers to 12.
The Bulldogs were led in scoring by Byron Wright's 14. Jones chipped in nine points as did Fred Treadwell, who also added five rebounds.
Bloomfield was led in scoring by Blake Harris and Hensley, who each finished with 13 points. Hensley also added eight rebounds.
Portageville (6-3) took on Bernie in the fifth place game Saturday. Results can be found in Wednesday's sports section in the Standard Democrat.
"We told (our players) they had a choice of playing on the last night or practicing on the last night," Bidewell said. "It's good. You get four games and it gives you a little more experience, which is what we need right now. From that standpoint we're grateful."
A last second 3-pointer by South Pemiscot's Maurichio Clay was off the mark and Bernie survived to play Portageville in Saturday's fifth place final, 75-73.
The game was a see-saw affair that saw numerous lead changes but Bernie's outside shooting proved to be the difference as they hit eight from behind the arc, including five from Jake Owens.
Owens led the Mules with 26 points while Silas Dill and Zach Curry each scored 13.
Clay led South Pemiscot with a game-high 27. Kaleb Canoy added 15 and Ben Smith 10.
The top seeded Hayti Indians outlasted the scrappy No. 12 seed Puxico Indians 58-55 to advance to their first-ever Bloomfield Christmas Tournament championship game.
Hayti built a 17-7 lead in the first quarter before the Indians battled back to cut the lead 25-23 just before the end of the first quarter. However, Hayti's Jerome Covington sank a half-court shot as the quarter expired to put the Indians up 28-23.
The Indians built on their lead, taking a 38-29 lead at the half and building a 53-42 lead midway through the fourth quarter. But Puxico made one last run, going on an 11-2 run to cut the lead to 55-53 with 2:27 remaining. Puxico had two chances to tie, but both shots were off the mark. After two Indian free throws stretched the lead to 58-53, the Indians' John Smith scored on a drive to cut the lead to 58-55. Puxico had one last chance to tie but a 3-pointer was off the mark with time winding down.
The Doniphan Dons used a masterful defensive performance to down Malden 48-30 and advance to their third-straight Bloomfield Christmas Tournament championship game. The Dons, which lost to Malden in last year's title game, led 17-8 after one quarter and never relinquished the lead.
Doniphan was led in scoring by Charles Wilson's 23. Malden was led by Leonard Burton's 18.
The Van Buren Bulldogs advanced to the consolation final Saturday by holding off the Richland Rebels 44-42 Friday afternoon.
Van Buren jumped out in front early, leading 11-7 after one quarter and building as much as a 12-point lead in the first half.
However the Rebels chipped away at the Bulldog lead and tied the game at 35 after a steal and a layup by Mac Thornton. The two teams then exchanged baskets but Van Buren took the lead for good when Tyler Freeze drove to the basket and scored with 1:10 left on the clock, giving the Bulldogs a 39-37 lead.
A 3-pointer by Richland's Mikey Latham cut the lead to 43-42 with five seconds left but after a foul, Freeze hit one-of-two free throws with 0.7 seconds remaining. Richland was unable to get off another shot.
Freeze led Van Buren with 13 points while Kyle Burke added 12.
Richland was led in scoring by Thornton's 13 and Latham's 12.
The Twin Rivers Royals used a last-second shot by Jordan Fowler to down Kennett 59-58 and advance into the consolation finals. Trailing 58-57 with 10 seconds remaining, Twin Rivers inbounded the ball and drove the length of the floor, kicking to Fowler for a 15-footer in the corner. The Indians called time out with .7 seconds remaining but were unable to get off a final shot.
Twin Rivers was led in scoring by Dylan Stockton, who finished with a game-
high 20 points. Kyle Oberkramer chipped in 13.
Kennett was led by Jarvis Finley's 13 while Cameron Conder pitched in 10.