(Josh Mills/Standard Democrat)
PORTAGEVILLE -- Friday night started out slowly for the Portageville Bulldogs, but they eventually took charge, and brought home the victory on homecoming, defeating the Malden Green Wave 57-42.
Malden started out red-hot, as they jumped out to an early 10-1 lead, behind Nick Perkins, who put up 10 points in the first quarter. The Green Wave led 15-6 heading into the second quarter of play.
Portageville came storming back in the second, as they made up a huge point difference, scoring eight points in the final 2:45 of the quarter. Dometric Trotter had a big role in the scoring run, hitting a field goal and a 3-pointer for the Bulldogs. Jacob Estes, T.J. Smith, Bruce Mathis and Terrale Jones each added points in the quarter, as Portageville pulled within three, 24-21 going into halftime.
The Green Wave were held to just seven points in the third quarter, due to Portageville's defensive pressure in the post, while the Bulldogs put up 15 points of their own, to take a 36-31 lead into the fourth quarter. Portageville's first lead of the game came in the third, with the score 27-26.
In the fourth quarter, Malden was held to just 11 points, as the Bulldogs cruised to 57-42 victory behind Estes, Smith and Trotter, who took control of the points, cashing in for a combined total of 17 of the team's 21 points scored in the quarter.
Portageville coach Jim Bidewell said his club has had a few slow starts this season, but that they tend to step it up at the right time.
"I thought our kids came out after the first quarter, woke up and played with a lot more intensity," said Bidewell. "We've been practicing really hard, and we're still making a lot of mental mistakes. We're trying to cut down on them."
"At least what we can't make up for mentally, we try to make up for by hustle," he added. "Tonight we did that."
With the win the Bulldogs improve to 9-5.
Trotter led Portageville with 15 points, while Smith chipped in with 13.
The Green Wave were led in scoring by Perkins, who finished the game with 20 points.
Malden coach Robert Ison said his club lost the game due to Portageville's quickness on defense.
"I thought we came out with intensity and were ready to play in the first quarter," Ison said. "Then Portageville shifted to another gear, (and they) got real aggressive with us, and we just shied away from them. We didn't want it as bad as I thought we did."
The Green Wave fall to 13-4 on the season, as they head into Charleston on Tuesday night to take on the Bluejays.
Portageville will travel to North Pemiscot on Tuesday, and will be back at home Saturday to take on Sikeston.