The Portland High school girls basketball team hosted the Greyhounds of Eaton Rapids on Friday night in the first of two games for Portland’s Winterfest.
The Greyhounds jumped out to an early 18-9 lead, in the first quarter, but the Raiders would hustle their way back into the game. The Greyhounds had the size advantage with two players six foot or taller, while Portland’s tallest players are only 5’ 9”.
The Raiders managed to take the lead late in the fourth. With time ticking away, Eaton Rapids tied it up, and the score was 38-38 at the end of regulation.
In the overtime period, the Raider speed and hustle was just too much for the Greyhounds, and Portland won 48-44.
Score by quarter:
Junior Lesley Barker lead the Raiders with 17 points, followed by senior Olivia Sandborn with 13, and freshman Ava Gruber with nine.
After the game, coach Jason Haid said, “I am worn out. I am sure the girls are worn out. It was a battle, it was back and forth. They hit us hard at the beginning of the game, and they pounded it down inside. We had to make some adjustments and our girls were able to do that. We had to speed the tempo up defensively, and try to keep it away from their bigs, because they were establishing position down there and getting some easy shots and rebounds. We switched up our defense a little bit, forced the tempo, and I think it caught them off balance a little bit. It forced them into some tough shots. Offensively in the first half we were real patient, we ran through our offense about as well as I have seen us run it in a while. We got some good looks.”
Haid added, “In the second half, to their credit, they are a tough team, and they are well coached, they came right back at us. They found a way to get it back inside. They handled our pressure a little bit better. We missed some easy shots at the end. Had they fallen we probably could have closed it out. But to our girls credit, it was kind of like a punch in the gut. Going into overtime we felt like we had built enough momentum to win that game in regulation. Give our girls credit, they just came out and dug deep in overtime. They made some plays. We have girls that are 5’ 5” trying to rebound over girls that are six foot, and they did a heck of a job boxing out late in the game, and we were able to get a couple of tough rebounds and hit some free throws at the end. Jolee Pung hit that free throw to put us up four with a few seconds left, and that was the clincher there.”
The Raiders move to 5-13 on the year, and will host Olivet (10-7) on Tuesday night.