Portageville limited South Pemiscot to 13 field goals with in your face man-
to-man defense. South Pemiscot turned the ball over 24 times in the contest, as Portageville racked up 18 steals as a team.
"Ever since Scott Central embarrassed last week (lost 75-50)," said Portageville head coach Jim Bidewell, "the kids understood that they have a long way to go to be a good team. The guys responded well in practice after the loss and have worked hard to try and improve. We still made some mistakes tonight, but the guys gave 100 percent effort."
Portageville opened up the game sizzling from the floor and had a 12-0 run that took up the majority of the first quarter. Portageville led 13-2 until South Pemiscot scored their second field goal of the quarter with five seconds remaining. Guard Maurichio Clay had both baskets for South Pemiscot in the quarter.
"Portageville did a good job with their pressure defense," said South Pemiscot head coach Chris Moore. "They were very physical and pushed us out of our comfort zone. We didn't help ourselves out by not setting good screens. We we did screen, the guys didn't come right off them and by then the play was dead."
South Pemiscot switched to a zone defense in the second quarter which seemed to slow down the offensive attack of Portageville. South Pemiscot got back into the game with a 11-0 run and led 17-16 with 1:25 to play in the second.
Shooting guard Jeremy Patton was the catalyst for South Pemiscot in the second quarter. Patton hit two 3-pointers and a free-throw to score seven of South Pem's 13 points in the quarter. Portageville did respond with the last three points of the first half and led 19-17 at the break.
Portageville opened up the second half in a half-court trap and took control of the third quarter with a 9-2 run to lead 28-21 with 4:30 to play in the quarter. Seniors Trey Mosby and Marcus Greene led Portageville with eight and five points respectively in the third.
"Trey is starting to get his shot back," said Bidewell. "He has been spending extra time in the weight room and doing the little things to strengthen his arm. It is going to take some more time for the mental part of the injury to subside for him."
Fellow senior Mikey Johnson extended a Portageville six point lead to a nine point bulge, with a desperation 30-foot shot to beat the buzzer. Heading into the final quarter, Portageville had the momentum and a 38-29 lead.
"After we played poorly in the first quarter," said Moore, "I thought the guys were starting to find their rhythm in the second and third quarters. That half-
court shot really took the wind out of our sails and I don't think the guys recovered after that."
Portageville slowly wore down South Pemiscot in the fourth quarter and built a 20-point lead late in the game. Contributing factors for a big Portageville win was the gap in free-throws made and bench production.
"Our bench players gave us great effort in the game," said Bidewell. "They are not jealous of the starters and they have embraced their role for the good of the team."
The host Bulldogs hit nine more free-throws, 14-5, than the traveling Bulldogs. In addition, South Pemiscot had no players score off the bench and only four starters reached the scoring column.
"The bottom line," said Moore, "is that Portageville executed and we didn't. They played extremely hard and deserved the victory tonight."
Patton hit four 3-pointers in the game for South Pemiscot and led the team with 20 points and four steals. Clay ended with 12 points and 6-foot-5 Felix Spates had nine points and a game-high 10 rebounds for South Pemiscot.
Greene ended his night with a team-high 16 points, with six rebounds, three assists and two steals for Portageville.
"Greene played the game of his career tonight," said Bidewell. "If he can play like that game in and game out, we can start to grow as a team."
Mosby continues his good play on both offense and defense for Portageville finishing with 13 points, six assists and six steals. Freshman Kony Ealy ended with nine points, grabbed a team-high seven rebounds and had five steals.
South Pemiscot (7-8) travels to Senath-Hornersville next Friday at 6 p.m.
Portageville (11-2) travels to Malden to take on the state ranked Green Wave. Malden is ranked No. 6 in Class 3 and is undefeated. Tip is set for 6 p.m. for the junior varsity game.
The Risco Tigers dropped their second straight Tri-County Conference matchup on the road Friday night at the Campbell Camels, 67-45
Risco jumped on Campbell early in the first quarter scoring the first eight points of the game.
Risco enjoyed a 14-13 lead heading into the second quarter, but foul trouble and injuries doomed the upset bid.
Junior post player Derek Fowler had six points in the first quarter, but foul trouble limited his play in the second and the Camels took advantage outscoring Risco 13-8 in the second for a 29-22 halftime lead.
"We were playing really well in the early going, maybe the best of the year," said Risco head coach Brandon Blankenship. "But then Fowler got in foul trouble and they made a little run to end the second quarter."
It was not a good night for the Tigers as Fowler went down with a knee injury in the third quarter.
Second leading scorer Kyle White was under the weather and was held scoreless in the contest.
With the 6-foot-4 Fowler out of the middle, Campbell took advantage in the fourth quarter, outscoring Risco 25-11 in the final frame.
"We were really hurt when Fowler went down," said Blankenship. "I think the guys ran out of gas without him in the lineup. Also with White feeling under the weather, we were limited out on the perimeter."
Ricky Davis led the Tigers with 14 points.
Kyle Hayes was the only other double digit scorer with 11 points and Fowler tossed in eight points before the injury for Risco.
Chris Hahn and Jake Tinnon led Campbell with 14 points apiece.
Risco (1-9) hosts the Cooter Wildcats at home on Tuesday at 6 p.m.