(Photo by Josh Mills, Staff)
PORTAGEVILLE -- The Portageville Bulldogs defended their home floor and took home a win on Friday evening by fending off the Kennett Indians by a final score of 80-69. The victory comes just months after suffering a 44-0 loss on their home turf to the Indians in the football season. The Bulldogs improved to 5-0 on the season with the victory.
"This is a big win for us, it's a conference game," said Portageville head coach Jim Bidewell. "I knew Kennett had some outside shooters that could scare you and they showed it out there tonight."
The Indians started out on the right track as they won the tip and scored the first few buckets. The Bulldogs jumped on the board to make the score 6-2 and finally tied the game at 11-11 when Byron Wright ran the floor and threw down a dunk to get the crowd energized. From that point on, Portageville seemed in control, eventually extending their lead in the second quarter to 21-11.
At halftime the score was 35-23 in favor of the Bulldogs.
Kennett bounced back however, as Tevin Hampton hit two 3-pointers out of the break for six of the Indians' 20 third quarter points. The surge wasn't enough from the Indians though, as both squads locked up with 26 points apiece in the fourth quarter, leaving Portageville the victory by 11. Hampton ended up with a game-high 20 points as he drained six 3-pointers.
"We would kind of build a lead and they would come back and hit the three," Bidewell said. "Many times we were on them, and sometimes we left them open, but they still hit it. They're going to be good before it's over with, we were just fortunate to be playing at home. If we were at Kennett it's probably a different story."
Dometric Treadwell and Donnell Minnis each scored 19 points for the Bulldogs and Wright added 17. Portageville moves on to the Bloomfield Christmas Tournament where they'll face off against Greenville on Friday.
As for the Indians, Jarvis Finley and Blake Parr were the only two visiting players that finished in double figures aside from Hampton. Finley had 12 and Parr chipped in with 11.
"I thought we played real, real slow tonight," said Kennett head coach Jim Vaughan. "We're not good when we play slow. When we have to just do too much watching, we're just better when we get the ball down the floor and we attack the basket right away. I thought the pace was just really in Portageville's favor in the first half and that just kind of affected us throughout the night."
"We were better in the second half, but we dug a hole," he added. "Then, it's just a little bit of panic."
The Indians, now 4-2 on the season, will also be in Bloomfield for the tournament, and will go up against Van Buren Friday afternoon. Both Kennett and Portageville are in the same bracket of the tournament and could face a possible rematch later in the week.