(Photos by David Jenkins, Staff)
PORTAGEVILLE -- It would be an understatement to say that the Portageville Lady Bulldogs' basketball team is gelling at the right time. The Lady Bulldogs are heading into district play Saturday on the heels of an seven-game win streak in which they have defeated their opponents by an average score of 37 points per game. Monday evening the point spread was 33, as the Lady Bulldogs defeated the visiting Kelly Lady Hawks by a final score of 61-28.
"Let's give Portageville credit," said Kelly head coach Rod McQuerter of the loss. "They came out very motivated tonight on Senior Night, and they gave us a good butt-kicking. They came out with a good attitude, and they played hard and played as a team."
Senior Night it was, and the Portageville seniors helped lead their squad from the opening tip, as Kellye Penn hit the first shot of the game. The two-point lead quickly turned into a seven point lead as Brittney Walker got in on the action hitting her first shot of the game, a 3-pointer, before the first quarter buzzer rang. The Lady Bulldogs led after one, 11-4.
In the second quarter, Kelly's Kristen Powell put together a string of baskets, totaling up six points, but the lead for the home team would stretch to double-figures before halftime. Walker, Penn and Jaleea Drake combined for all 23 of Portageville's second quarter points, as the Lady Bulldogs led at the break 34-12.
In the fourth quarter, the mercy clock began to run at 5:30, as the Lady Bulldogs raised the score to 57-26. As time began to tick off the clock, Glastetter and Powell scored two points apiece for Kelly. On the other end of the floor, seniors Mallory Bidewell and Penn each put in baskets before checking out, alongside senior teammate Mary Hannah Fisher, to a standing ovation. The final buzzer sounded with the score in Portageville's favor 61-
"Our girls played well as a team," said Portageville head coach Eric Ellerbrook of the victory. "I thought they clicked tonight, pushing the ball up the floor. Defensively they moved their feet and got in the passing lanes, and played pretty good defense tonight against a well-coached Kelly team."
"Coming in, it was Senior Night," he added. "Emotions were high, and we just wanted to make sure that we played a good game for our seniors. I thought the seniors played extremely well, to the extent of our leadership, picking the girls up and encouraging each other. We have some pretty good senior leadership this year."
"Give those girls credit," said McQuerter of the Portageville team. "Those seniors came out and they played well. He (Ellerbrook) has a good group of girls."
"Portageville played their butts off," he added. "They played hard and played well as a team. They've earned everything they've gotten this year--they're a very good basketball team."
Leading the way for the Lady Hawks was Powell, with 8 points. Debra Hall and Glastetter added six points apiece in the loss. Hall finished the game with six rebounds.
Up next for Kelly is another Senior Night contest, Thursday at 6 p.m. against the Oran Lady Eagles, where the varsity boys contest will follow.
Portageville will be hosting the Class 3 District 1 tournament beginning Saturday. The Lady Bulldogs will be going up against the Kennett Lady Indians at 8:30 p.m.