"We do have a lot of little things to work on," Portageville coach Jason Irby said. "We didn't close out very well tonight and didn't do a really good job of blocking out.
"But I was pleased with their effort and we were able to get the ball to the basket a lot, which is something we've been working on. Overall it was a pretty good first game."
Holding the Hawks scoreless for the first five minutes of the game, the Bulldogs built up a quick 13-0 lead thanks largely to seven straight points from Tevin Walker to start the game.
Though Kelly (1-3) finally got on the board with an Aaron Grainger 3-pointer to start a 6-2 Hawk's run at the 2:54 mark in the first quarter, Portageville pulled away to a 20-7 by the end of the frame.
Midway through the second, with a 30-14 lead, Portageville went another big run, scoring 12 straight points as they jumped ahead to a 49-25 advantage at the break.
By the end of the first half, the Bulldogs had 15 steals and 12 rebounds while shooting 19 of 28 from the floor for a 67.9 shooting percentage.
"We shot close to 70 percent in the first half and it was mostly layups," Irby said. "I thought our defense, our press, forced a lot of turnovers and we were able to score off of it which was good to see."
In the third quarter after a quick basket by Kelly, Portageville went on to put up 15 unanswered points as a Dion Foster free throw put the Bulldogs up 64-26 with 4:20 left in the third.
With the game already settled, Kelly came back to score 14 of the next 19 points, closing back to with 28 points of Portageville before a Jullian Nolen 3-pointer with 5:44 to play put the turbo clock back in motion for good.
"It seems like you're nitpicking, but at the same time we had 11 turnovers at the half and nine of them were unforced," Irby said. "It was just bobbling balls and not catching cleanly. We've been working hard on that so that was kind of frustrating.
"But I thought we did a lot better job in the second half of playing strong with the ball."
With a game-high 24 points, Tevin Walker led the Bulldogs, scoring all but two of his points in the first half while collecting two rebounds and seven steals on the game.
Both Dominique Walker and Nolen had 12 points on the game with Walker grabbing six rebounds and three steals while Nolen had a pair of rebounds.
For the Hawks, Brent Forck had a team-high 13 points with Grainger and Gates adding nine and seven points to Kelly's cause respectively.
On the game Portageville outrebounded the Hawks 31-19 while collecting 21 steals and 27 turnovers.
With only one senior on his roster, Kelly coach Josh Eftink is looking at his team's early season games as a chance to get his kids some experience.
"We have a lot of work to do," Eftink said. "We know that we're young and that we have to play to get better.
"This is a team that we knew was going to come out and pressure us. It's kind of just a check point to see where we're at and let our sophomores and juniors know that this is where we have to get to sometime by the end of the year."
Earlier in evening Portageville's junior varsity squad also picked up a win, defeating Kelly's junior varsity 58-48.
Holding a slim one-point lead at the half, the Bulldogs outscored the Hawks 16-5 in the third quarter to carry a 10-point advantage in to the fourth quarter.
Leading the way for Portageville, Cody Carpenter had 17 points on the contest with Robert Anderson and A.V. Banks adding 14 and eight points each to the Bulldog's cause.
For Kelly, Gaven Ray had a gamer-high 18 points, including nine points in the Hawks fourth quarter comeback bid. Finishing the game with three 3-pointers, all in the second quarter, Derrick Garner had 17 points while Jerrod Lynn was third on the team with six points.
PORTAGEVILLE (84) -- Tevin Walker 24, Jullian Nolen 12, Dion Foster 9, Anferce Garmon 5, Dominique Walker 12, Zack Birdwell 3, Cody Carpenter 3, Steve Buchanan 6, Eric Simmons 6, Daniel Allen 4. FG 34, FT 10-13, F 19. (3-pointers: Tevin Walker 2, Nolen 2, Garmon 1, Carpenter 1. Fouled out: none.)
KELLY (44) -- Austin Waddlington 1, Aaron Grainger 9, Dustin Schwartz 2, Brent Forck 13, Jeff Gates 7, Josh Roberts 5, Derrick Garner 5, Gabe Felter 2. FG 14, FT 10-15, F 12. (3-pointers: Grainger 1, Forck 3, Gates 1, Garner 1. Gouled out: none.)