The Gallatin boys proved to be too quick for the Panthers last Friday night as the Wave rolled up a 66-31 win in district action.
The contest was tied briefly at 2-2, but the Green Wave outscored the Purple 16-2 over the final seven minutes of the opening period to lead 18-4 and were not threatened the remainder of the game.
“Gallatin played hard and executed well tonight,” PHS coach Joshua Epperson remarked. “We knew this would be a true test for us tonight.”
The winner outshot the Purple 28-14 in field goals including eight 3-pointers by the Wave in leading by double figures at each break.
“It was difficult to get shots and we had to rush our shots,” Epperson explained. “They denied us the passing lane tonight.”
Grant Cook put up Portland’s first basket of the evening and Bryce Keith took a pass from Cook for a bucket in the opening minutes of the contest. Gallatin would build on their six-point advantage with eight straight points for a 18-4 edge.
The Panthers didn’t score their next bucket until the 2:40 mark on a Keith shot. Gallatin went on an eight-point run for a 22-point spread and made back-to-back 3-pointers to lead by 26. Cook connected inside and Austin Hicks scored and Keith closed out the first half on a 3-pointer though the Purple trailed 36-13.
Portland started the third period with shots by Hicks and Cook to cut the margin to 19, 36-17. But the Wave opened up a 28-point lead on a 9-0 run. Dairius Bell found the net on a basket and
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Keith buried a 3-pointer before Arnold closed out the quarter on a shot from the 3-point arc as the hosts led 50-23.
The Green Wave poured in four 3-pointers in the final eight minutes to keep their comfortable advantage while Cook, Luke Jones and Brett Short scored for the Panthers.
“I thought we played hard in the third quarter,” Epperson said about the Panthers. “I have a lot of respect for Coach Luna. They played well tonight. Gallatin is one of the top teams in our district.”
Keith and Cook both reached double figures in scoring for Portland with 11 and ten points respectively with Hicks adding four and Bell, Short and Jones rounding out the offense with two apiece.
Gallatin’s Octavian Arnold led all scorers with 22.
Last Tuesday, the Panthers squared off with White House and lost 57-39. The Purple led 10-8 after eight minutes of action and held a 22-19 advantage at intermission. White House took the lead in the third quarter 32-28 and outscored Portland 25-11 in the final stanza for the win.
Jones led the way with 11 points with Bell contributing ten and Keith scoring six. Dawson Simmons, Cook and Hicks each had four.
Jared Ward paced all scorers with 21 and Cole Pond added 13.
“We executed well in the first half and we led at halftime,” Epperson said. “ We didn’t take care of the basketball in the second half.