EAST PRAIRIE -- Since the opening tip-off of the 2007-2008 basketball year, Portageville head coach Eric Ellerbrook has preached to his kids that the key to a successful season lies behind playing well as a team.
"Throughout the season, what has helped us out is encouraging each other with our senior leadership and spreading the ball around as much as we can," said Ellerbrook. "We try to be unselfish as possible and we don't care who scores the most just as long as we can win as a team."
In Thursday's game against the East Prairie Eagles, Ellerbrook once again received a great team effort from his squad as scoring contributions from nine different players helped to propel the visiting Lady Bulldogs to a 74-30 victory.
Portageville wasted little time in the first eight minutes, after junior guard Brittney Walker broke a 4-4 tie when she converted on an old fashioned three. This would help spark a 9-0 run for the Lady Bulldogs, eventually allowing them to take a 17-9 lead heading in the second.
It was more of the same in the second quarter as the Portageville's press really began to take its toll on the home team as the visiting team went on to increase their lead to 25, 45-20, at the break.
"They pressured us and we couldn't respond to the pressure," said East Prairie head coach Steven Douglas. "I don't know how many turnovers we had in the first half but I bet it was close to 20. And when you add that to the 15 fouls we committed in the first two quarters it makes it hard to come back."
East Prairie tried to battle back in the third, cutting the lead to 22 on a Grace Swann lay up. But that would be as close as the home team would get as Portageville would spark a 14 point run, highlighted by back-to-back 3-
pointers from Courtney Chamberlain. The run gave the Lady Bulldogs a 64-
30 advantage in the fourth as the final quarter brought a running clock and liberal substitutions.
"They're a great team that is well-coached and executes," said Douglas. "They execute on defense, offense, full court and half court. I don't know what they don't do well. They're a sportsman-like team that should go a long way."
The Lady Bulldogs were lead by Walker with 17 points while Kellye Penn got in on the action with 13, including 7-11 shooting from the free throw line.
The Lady Eagles were lead by Swann who finished the game with seven points respectively.
"I was really proud of our effort tonight," said Ellerbrook. "I've got to give credit to East Prairie. They are a well coached team that hustled and never backed down. But our girls were playing as a team tonight and I was proud of them."
East Prairie (4-13) will be back in action Monday night when they host the Malden Lady Wave at 6 p.m. Portageville (21-3) will finish their regular season against the Kelly Lady Hawks Monday night.
Portageville also came out on the winning end in the junior varsity game 49-