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  • Jim Townsend

Lady Raiders Stomp Orioles in Regular Season Finale

The Portland girls basketball team hosted the Orioles of Charlotte on Friday night for the final contest of their regular season schedule. The Lady Raiders jumped out to an early lead and never looked back, defeating Charlotte 59-18.

Scoring for the totals for the Raiders:

Ashley Bower 19

Ava Guilford 15

Breckyn Werner 8

Ava Gruber 5

Shalyn Dziewiatkowski 4

Josie Goodman 3

Grace Sines 3

Alivia Densmore 2

The Orioles led by senior Ashley Friar who scored 12 points.

Scoring summary by quarter:

1st – 2nd – 3rd – 4th – Final

Portland 20 – 12 – 20 – 7 – 59

Charlotte 0 – 11 – 0 – 7 – 18

After the game, Raider head coach Jason Haid told the Beacon, “We talked to the girls about playing the way we want to play next week against Ionia. We talked about the importance of finishing strong and playing four quarters. Just playing with the district intensity we are going to need to battle with Ionia on Monday night.”

Haid added, “I was really pleased with the way we came out, jumping on them early. Our defensive pressure was phenomenal. We shared the basketball so well there in the first quarter. We got out 20-0 and never looked back. We never let them get in the game and that has kind of been something we have struggled with at times. When we get up on a team, we let the team come back, so I’m just really pleased with the way we buckled down defensively. We moved the ball and we hit some shots. We were aggressive in the boards, going to the rim, and that is something we need to do going into next week. We limited our turnovers throughout the game. That has been something we have been emphasizing. Just proud of the way we played disciplined tonight.”

The Raiders finished the regular season 17-3, and were crowned CAAC White champions with a final 9-1 conference record.

Portland will face a familiar and talented foe in the Ionia Bulldogs on Monday night at Belding at 7:00. This first round MHSAA district match-up will be the third meeting between the two teams. The Lady Raiders won both of the previous contests, winning 44-30 on December 13th at Ionia, and 48-24 at Portland on January 31st.

The Bulldogs finished their regular schedule 15-5 overall and 5-5 in the CAAC White.

When asked about his team seeing Ionia again next week, Haid said, “We have been thinking about Ionia and only Ionia in the tournament. We know it is going to be a very tough task. They defend very well. They are extremely well coached and they are going to be ready to play. We have to have a good game in order to beat that team. I feel like our kids are playing very confidently right now and I think we are going to be ready.”

The winner will face Alma on Wednesday in the district semi-finals.

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