PORTLAND - Seven different Portland Lady Panthers tallied points in the team’s fifth win of the season Saturday night, 53-37, over visiting Springfield High School. 

“Big thing is enjoying every win,” Portland head coach Scott Steinbrecher said. “This was our fourth game this week and to have that response on tired legs was something to celebrate.”

Eme Loza paced the team with 13 points while Lexie Williams (12) and Rayleigh Hester (11) also added double digit scoring. 

Leading by only four, 36-32, at the end of 24 minutes, Portland put together a 12-3 run to give themselves their biggest lead of the game, 48-35. 

“We didn’t play sound defense in the first half,” Steinbrecher said. “ (I) told them at halftime, let's settle into our base defense instead of pressing. Once we did that our defense turned into offense and we were able to get out and go.”

At one point in the fourth quarter, Springfield could not get the ball past half-court thanks in large credit to Lillie Whitehead’s pressure defense — the senior forced Springfield into four consecutive turnovers. 

“It was incredible,” Steinbrecher said. “When she locks in on defense like that it provides a jolt of energy to our team.”

The Lady Panthers (5-12, 2-7) closed out the week 2-1 with wins over Springfield and East Robertson with their lone loss coming against district foe Hendersonville. 

Portland is back in action against Mt. Juliet on January 19 then at Lebanon January 22. 

 

Box Score: 

Portland (53): Eme Loza 13, Lexie Williams 12, Rayleigh Hester 11, Lillie Whitehead 8, Katie McCloud 5, Cheyenne Gregory 2, Kayla Wasilko 2. 

 

Springfield (37): Shamiri Cantrell 18, Ky’Asia Garder 9, Sarah Tejada 6, Aaliya Scharkley 2, Leviya Pope 2. 

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