Antonio Maddalena focuses for his shot.

Ferocious Tigers edge by Wolverines

Portola Tiger no. 4, Tony Bautista, heads for the goal while teammate Eric Jacobson and Austin Griffin cover the flank.

Adrenaline pumps as basketball season hits a feverish peak on Plumas high school courts.

Tiger boys

The Portola Tigers kicked off February with a “squeaker” of a game, 55-53, against the Biggs Wolverines on Feb. 2 on the PHS home court in front of their Tiger fans. The Biggs boys held the lead at the end of each of the first three periods: 12-11, 32-26 and 44-43. None of that mattered though because the Tigers came out on top at the end of the only period that counts, the last one.

After the Biggs game, the PHS boys were 2-2 in the league and 10-11 overall. A race of games followed for the Portola boys. In a single non-conference home game against Coral on Feb. 5, the Tigers beat the Falcons by a score of 62-53. The Portola boys held the lead at each quarter and could not be overtaken.

Three away games followed. The first was a battle against the Maxwell Panthers on Feb. 9. Heading into the game the Tigers were 11-11 overall and the Panthers 11-8. The match ended as another victory for the Tigers, 50-42.

It was a close one as PHS led by a single point in the first period, then the Panthers came back to tie the game at the half. With renewed vigor, the Tigers came back and took the lead scoring 15 points to the Panther 9 in the third and again outscoring the big cats 11 points to 9 in the final period. Keegan Folchi had a great game scoring 22 points for PHS, Eric Jacobson scored 14 and Antonio Bautista added 9.

Next up was a rematch against Biggs on Feb. 12, and lastly, the rivalry match against Quincy on Feb. 13. The final league game is in Portola against Esparto this Friday, Feb. 16, at 6:30 p.m.

Tiger girls

The ladies were victorious over the Biggs Wolverines, like the boys, but by an even tighter margin, 43-42 on Feb. 2. The girls kept Tiger fans on the edge of their seats as the periods ended with the Tigers leading first 13-12, then down by a point at the end of the second period, 19-18.

The Wolverines outscored the Tigers in the third period, collecting only 9 points to the Biggs 16, thus ending the period 34-27. But the lady Tigers rallied with 16 points for the final period, holding Biggs to just half that, and taking that lead home for the 1-point win.

Maddie Wilson sinks a free throw for the Tigers. Photos by Mari Erin Roth

After the Biggs win, the lady Tigers remained undefeated in the league. The ladies then stormed through the same series of away games as the PHS boys.

In a non-league game against Coral Academy, the girls hammered the Falcons for a crushing 45-7 victory. Heading out to Maxwell High for a league game against the Panthers on Feb. 9, the ladies overall record was 16-6 with 12 wins in a row! The last time the ladies met the Panthers they beat them 47-20. The outcome was similar Feb. 9; the Tigers won 52-22. The victory over Maxwell set the Tigers apart with a string of 13 victories in a row, undefeated in their league at 5-0 with  an overall record of 17-6.

The Tigers had a completely different history against Biggs on Feb. 12. The 43-42 victory described above was preceded by a 49-41 loss to the Wolverines back on Dec. 8. That game was the last time, thus far, the Portola ladies lost to challenger.

The rivalry match against Quincy last night, Feb. 13, was sure to be as thrilling as any PHS vs. QHS game ever is. The athletes never disappoint, bringing forth their very best effort each time they face each other, a guarantee for a real “sweet” game.

The lady Tigers have a final league match scheduled this Friday, Feb. 16, in Portola against the Esparto Spartans at 5 p.m.

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