Portola's Cliff Robinson drives for the hoop.
The Portola High School boys’ basketball team posted a 52-49 win at home against Chester last Friday night, Feb. 12, giving the Volcanoes their first league loss of the season.
Chester had defeated Portola by 10 points in their first league match-up two weeks earlier, but the Tigers evened the series with Friday’s win.
As the top two teams in the Feather River League, Chester now sits with a 5-1 record, while Portola moved to 4-2.
Portola sustained its first league loss Wednesday, Feb. 10, when the Tigers fell 60-47 at Loyalton. Portola had defeated Loyalton by 20 points in their prior meeting.
“Loyalton came fired up and played hard,” said Portola coach Brad Miller. “They’re always ready for Portola. For some reason, they think we’re rivals. They shot the ball really well—they did not miss much.”
Portola bounced back two nights later against the Volcanoes and spoiled their undefeated league record.
“We came together as a team for the first time,” said Miller. “We were motivated to give them more resistance.”
Portola’s offense wasn’t at its best and the Tigers trailed much of the game, but they made up for it on the other end of the court.
“We didn’t shoot the ball well, but our defense kept us in it,” said Miller. “Chester is a great basketball team. We played tremendous defense the entire game.”
Chester outscored Portola 12-5 in the second quarter to lead 22-17 at halftime.
“We made some adjustments at halftime, and came out and executed them perfectly,” said Miller.
Portola outplayed Chester 20-13 through the third quarter and 15-14 in the final period.
Mario Rodriguez scored 14 points for the Tigers, followed by Cliff Robinson with 12, Kyle Heskett with eight and Erick Miller with seven.
Robinson led the Tigers with 11 rebounds, while Dillon Soares pulled down six.
Robinson and Heskett each delivered four assists, and Soares registered three assists. Robinson and Miller grabbed three steals apiece.
Chester’s scoring was led by Cole Fanning with 16 points. Tyler Hernandez claimed 11 points, Chad Durkin compiled eight and David Ryn finished with seven.
Ryn led the Volcanoes with 13 rebounds. Topher Taylor was credited with seven assists.
Earlier last week, Portola pulled off a dramatic 68-67 overtime win on the road against Whittell.
Miller led with 17 points, including two critical 3-pointers late in the fourth quarter and overtime periods.
Heskett recorded 14 points, six assists, six rebounds and three steals. Rodriguez scored 12 points and Les Carr led with eight rebounds.
Portola will finish up its league schedule against Quincy tonight and Greenville Friday night.
Chester must beat Greenville tonight and Loyalton Friday night to secure the league championship.
See this weeks paper for more sports results.