Pictured above Portland Aryan Virk grabs a rebound in the first quarter against Lansing Catholic.
It began when the Raider Basketball players came on the court before the game for warm-ups. Lansing Catholic’s large student body present at the game directed a raucous display of taunts and jeers at the Portland players and it continued throughout the game. The student section even disrupted the Lansing Catholic public address announcer as she was reading a prepared statement about sportsmanship, respect and civility. The only time it seemed they were not being disrespectful, was during the pre-game public prayer that everyone was asked to participate in. But, right after that it began again. The Portland players seem to take it all in stride, going about their pre-game warm-up. It is of course what rivalries are made of.
From the opening tip-off it started out looking like it was going to be a great basketball game. It quickly turned into something quite different. After scoring the game’s first basket, the Raiders fell behind early, 16-4, but rallied with 13 straight points to take the lead 17-16. Lansing Catholic scored before the buzzer to re-take the lead 18-17. Everything went downhill from there.
The Cougars, who are one of the top twenty Division 2 Boys Basketball teams in the State, turned up the speed and led 40-19 at the half. It got much worse in the second half as Lansing Catholic ripped the nets for 31 third quarter points while holding Portland to a mere three baskets. When the score hit 65-25 late in the third quarter, a running clock took effect for the remainder of the game. The end the third quarter mercifully ended with the score 71-25.
Portland’s first year coach Jason Goerge, realizing that the game was over by the start of the fourth quarter began to clear his bench, giving less experienced players a chance to play in the game. Lansing Catholic’s Coach Brian Darrt? He left his starters in the game to begin the fourth quarter. Darrt, who is a former Class C Coach of the year at Olivet, told the Beacon after the game that he left his starters in at the beginning of the fourth quarter because “it will be eight days before they play in a game again”. He also said in his post-game assessment that “Portland’s shots did not fall in tonight”.
The final score of the game was 85-27. Lansing Catholic shot 63% from the field (43% from behind the 3-point arc) and just could not miss a shot. Portland, on the other hand, had a hard time getting shots launched due to Lansing Catholic’s swarming defense. Portland shot just one free throw all night and it didn’t go in. Frustrated Raider Coach Jason Goerge said after the game, “We didn’t play defense after the first quarter.” Goerge went on to say, “I believe in these kids. Somehow we gotta dig deep and I think they will as we move forward.” The Raiders next game is at Haslett on Tuesday night.