Girls basketball: Eaton Rapids 46, Portland 41

Girls basketball: Eaton Rapids 46, Portland 41

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Girls basketball: Eaton Rapids 46, Portland 41

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PORTLAND

Jenna Beemer hit four free throws in a row with five seconds remaining to put the game away as Eaton Rapids defeated Portland, 46-41, in the Portland Mid-Michigan Showcase on Friday afternoon.

Two technical fouls, one for a hard foul and the second called on the Raiders’ coach, gave Beemer and the Greyhounds (8-1, 3-0) the opportunity they needed to finish off a CAAC rival they hadn’t played in three years.

Down by four points with less than 20 seconds to go, junior Portland’s Katie Blake stole the ball and found senior Kelsey Spitzley who made a layup and drew a foul. Spitzley, who had 11 points on the night, made the free throw and the Raiders were only down by one going into the final seconds.

“We were struggling yesterday getting up and down the floor quite a bit, and to bounce back, it looked like we had a lot more energy today,” said Eaton Rapids coach Willis Whitmyer referring to his team’s 47-44 loss to Flat Rock on Thursday. “Anytime you can beat Portland, they’ve been a quality program over the years, so we’ll definitely take it.”

The Raiders (6-3, 3-0) were in control during the first half, thanks to an offense that used quick perimeter passes to open up shots for their outside shooters. Madison King hit three 3-pointers and Allison Russell added another to help Portland to a 20-13 lead at the half.

King led the Raiders with 13 points, Kelsey Spitzley scored 11 and Russell added six.

The Greyhounds came out strong in the second half and used their size advantage to get easy baskets and draw fouls. They also used a trap zone defense to try to force Portland out of its rhythm and limit open looks from 3-point range.

“I think that the pressure that we put on them forced them to do some things they’re not normally used to doing and I think that was the difference,” Whitmyer said.

Eaton Rapids junior center Allie Dittmer scored 19 points and pulled down 12 rebounds. Junior guard Bailey Baker was perfect from the line, going 8-for-8 for eight points and also added eight rebounds.

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