(David Jenkins, Staff)
The No. 5 state-ranked Bulldogs (21-5) set the tone for Friday's championship match-up early, as two consecutive Byron Wright 3-pointers helped them jump out to a 9-0 advantage just under four minutes into the game. The Camels (21-7) were able to pull within seven points at 14-7 before two Dometric Treadwell 3's in a 29 second span put Portageville up 20-11 after the first quarter.
The Bulldogs held a 35-22 edge at the half and a 8-0 run to start the third quarter nullified Campbell's hopes of obtaining the district crown.
"I think absolutely everyone on our team came out fired up and ready to play tonight," Treadwell said after celebrating with his team. "We talked about defense in the locker room and how defense wins games. I think we had a really good game. We wanted to show how good we can be and how we want to go all the way."
Portageville only had 18 baskets from the field on Friday, but nine of those came from beyond three point range with Treadwell providing five, Wright three, and Bruce Mathis one.
"I think they (Portageville) did a good job coming out and shooting the ball," Camels head coach Steve Fowler said after Friday's loss. "They shot really well tonight. I don't think we expected them to shoot it that well.
"They are a good team. If they shoot like this down the road, they will be very hard to deal with."
Bulldogs head coach Jim Bidewell felt that his team's success from the perimeter was due in part to their shortcomings Thursday against Cooter in the semifinals.
"Campbell packed it in the on us tonight," Bidewell said of the Camels defense. "They saw how poorly we shot it last night against Cooter. I knew we were better shooters than that. It's just one of these things, sometimes you are sometimes you aren't. The guys just stepped up and hit shots tonight. But, we still have to play defense and rebound, and we did those things tonight as well."
Portageville's defense and rebounding were in fine form as well Friday. The Bulldogs out rebounded Campbell 33-19 and forced 18 Camels turnovers.
Treadwell felt everyone stepped up on the glass after a sluggish start.
"During the first quarter, we weren't rebounding as well as we should have been," he said. "Coach (Bidewell) told us to rebound and go hard just like we do in practice. I think our determination to win really showed in our rebounding tonight."
Bidewell pointed out that his team knew they would have to perform in the defensive and transition games in case of another poor shooting night.
"Last night, in our game against Cooter, we came out as cold as ice," he said. "So we knew we had to step up our defensive intensity, try and force turnovers, and control the boards so that if we had another cold night shooting we could overcome that."
Bidewell and his squad were aware rebounding would play a vital role in Friday's outcome.
"We tried to spend less time fast breaking tonight and focus on getting those rebounds," he said. "We watched Campbell play the other night and we knew that they rebounded the ball very well. We knew if we couldn't beat them on the boards on their home floor, it could be the end of our season. Everyone went to the glass very well tonight, if we can do that in every ball game then we will be right there in all of them as well."
Bidewell captured his 11th district title as head coach of the Bulldogs Friday, but spoke only of his pride for his team.
"I think our kids responded well tonight," he said. "The guys responded the way you are supposed to in a district finals. I'm just really proud of our kids."
Portageville will now face the winner of Thayer and Mansfield in the sectional round next Wednesday.
Bidewell said his is focused and ready.
"At this time of the season, if your not focused then it's not going to happen," he said. "I just remind them that this is what we have worked for. We have seven seniors, and they know every game could be their last. I don't have to give a motivational speech. If I did then we are probably not where we need to be."
The Bulldogs sectional game tip at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Three Rivers Community College in Poplar Bluff.
PORTAGEVILLE (63) -- Dometric Treadwell 25, Donnell Minnis 14, Byron Wright 12, Bruce Mathis 5, D.J. Birdwell 3, Alonzo Brown 2, Fred Treadwell 2. FG 18, FT 15-25. (3-pointers: D. Treadwell 5, Wright 3, Mathis 1. Fouled out: none.)
CAMPBELL (41) -- Justin Fowler 17, Andrew Pearson 9, Joe Campbell 5, Jake Nelson 4, Zack Jackson 2, Robert Johnson 2, Cale Weeks 2. (3-pointers: none. Fouled out: Nelson.)