Portola Tigers advance to championship round
Shannon Morrow - -
Kaitlyn Boyd draws three defenders in Portola’s semifinal playoff win against Colusa.
Photo by Tiffany Williams
The Portola High School girls’ basketball team advanced all the way to the Division V Northern Section championship in Chico last Saturday by winning three home playoff games, including an exciting three-point victory in the semifinals against Colusa Tuesday, Feb. 28.
In the championship match, Portola lost 57-27 to top-ranked Hamilton, giving the Tigers the Northern Section runner-up award.
The Tigers, now in the state tournament as the ninth seed in the north, travel to eighth-seeded International High School in San Francisco Wednesday, March 7, for the first round of the Division V state championship brackets.
On the Tigers’ first possession in their semifinal match against Colusa last week, Casey Pearson nailed a three-point shot, giving Portola good early momentum.
“After our slow start against Weed (in the quarterfinals), it was important to get that better start,” said Portola coach Matt Compton. “The crowd was fantastic – they really set the tone for us.”
Portola led 12-6 at the end of the first quarter.
In the last two minutes of the second quarter, Portola sisters Marissa and Rachel Wehrman combined for nine points help give the Tigers a 27-18 lead at halftime.
Both Portola and Colusa each scored 12 points in the third quarter.
Colusa staged a comeback in the final period by outplaying Portola 19-13, but the Tigers held on for a 52-49 victory.
Marissa Wehrman scored 13 points for Portola and Kaitlyn Boyd totaled 11. Lindsey Compton turned in a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
In the large gymnasium at California State University-Chico for the Northern Section finals last Saturday, Portola had to face No. 1 Hamilton, which entered the match with an undefeated record of 28-0.
Portola scored first when Lindsey Compton drained a three-point shot, but then a long two-pointer by Pearson and two free throws by Boyd were the only other scores the Tigers could manage in the first quarter, as Hamilton took a 21-7 lead.
The Tigers showed promise in the second period, as they held Hamilton to four points in the quarter.
Compton made a basket at the buzzer, bringing the Tigers to within nine points at halftime with a score of 25-16.
Portola was limited to six points in the third quarter and five points in the fourth quarter, as Hamilton built toward a 30-point win.
Hamilton forward Audra Jones, listed at 6-foot-5, recorded several blocks and made things difficult for Portola under the rim.
On the other end of the court, Portola was able to limit Jones to eight points in the game.
“Our game plan worked,” said Matt Compton. “We created some opportunities, but we couldn’t convert.”
Pearson totaled 10 points for the Tigers, Compton scored eight and Roach earned six.
The game brought Portola’s overall record to 25-5.