Tigers’ season ends with loss to Modoc

James Wilson
Sports Editor

Portola, the No. 11 seed in the Division V basketball playoffs, traveled to sixth-seeded Modoc last Wednesday to compete in the first round of playoffs. The Tigers started strong, but struggled defensively in the second quarter to lose 77-60.

The loss meant the end of the road for Portola, and brought its record to a final 9-18 for the season. In league play, the Tigers finished 3-7.

“We did the same ol’ thing we’ve been doing all year,” commented Portola coach Tim Brubaker on his team’s performance. “We played two quarters of good basketball and then gave it up. We made it easy on them, and got careless on defense.”

Portola had a 17-14 lead after the first quarter. In addition, the Tigers only gave up two turnovers that quarter.

But the second quarter was a different story.

Portola fell apart defensively and offensively. Defensively, the Tigers struggled to properly cover Modoc and gave up 23 points. Offensively, Portola turned the ball over 10 times and gave up its lead to trail 37-31 at halftime.

Modoc continued to dominate and outscored the Tigers 40-29 in the second half. The Tigers made a push in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t close the spread.

“We were a young team this year,” continued Brubaker. “We made some mistakes, which was part of the learning curve. My guys played real hard the whole time, but we didn’t play particularly smart.”

Despite the loss, the team truly contributed as a team. Juan Rodriguez claimed a double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Saul Juarez was pulled off the bench and scored 11 points; Trevor Ohle scored nine, and, according to Brubaker, played solid defense.

“Though this year got a little frustrating at times, this team has a tremendous group of kids,” reflected Brubaker. “We’re still learning, and I think we’ll do all right next year.”

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