Kenyatta Perry’s team didn’t have the look of one that was two years removed from their last win.
His girls basketball team had lost 35 consecutive games entering Tuesday’s tilt against Portland, but East Robertson was seemingly all smiles before the opening tip.
The Lady Indians hadn’t won since Jan. 28, 2020, a five-point win at White House. They snapped their streak in a big way with a 58-33 victory.
“The locker room was loud,” Perry said. “I’m proud of how they played tonight, and the product on the floor showed how hard they played. They should be proud of how it looks.”
Perry said he never paid attention to his team’s slump and that a strong summer performance was the culmination of Tuesday’s win.
East Robertson was defeated in all 25 games last year and finished the 2019-20 season on a seven-game losing streak. The win was its first at home since 2019.
“We’ve been talking about mental toughness for the last two or three weeks,” Perry said. “Things aren’t always going to go in your favor, things aren’t always going to go right. But if you keep pushing through, good things will end up happening.”
The Lady Indians started on the opposite end of a 10-2 run but countered by scoring 22 of the next 29 points. Three-point makes from Macy Phelps, Peyton Lackey and Katie Pennington helped grow their lead to as many as 26 by the fourth quarter.
Portland (3-2) scored just 15 points in the first half and turned the ball over 28 times in the defeat.
Head coach Scott Steinbrecher said his team was shorthanded without defenders Cheyenne Gregory and Taya Totten, who was limited in the contest. Senior Kayla Wasilko also played sparingly with the flu.
“They outworked us, they outplayed us, and we just couldn’t adjust to it quick enough,” he said. “You don’t prepare to go to your fourth-string point guard.”
Lackey paced the Lady Indians in scoring with 17 off the bench. Freshmen guards Ida Bernard and Pennington also finished in double figures with 15 and 13, respectively.
“This team’s relentless,” Lackey said. “The energy’s unbelievable and we’re a fun team. We just never let up. We all kept our heads down, kept playing and didn’t let up.
“We haven’t had a win in a while, so this one felt good. It felt different but good.”
East Robertson looks for its first winning streak of the season when traveling to White House on Friday, Dec. 3. Portland plays Creek Wood at home the same night.
East Robertson (58): Peyton Lackey 17, Ida Bernard 15, Katie Pennington 13, Macy Phelps 5, Ava Hester 4, Lily Dunbar 2, Hester Wallace 2.
Portland (33): Katie McCloud 10, Rayleigh Hester 7, Aleena Waggoner 6, Makayla Bryant 3, Kayla Wasilko 3, Karlee Clayton 2, Ava Montandon 2.