Kelsey Spitzley scored 10 of her game-high 18 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Portland Raiders to a hard-fought 31-26 nonleague win at Pewamo-Westphalia on Tuesday night.
Joanna Klein led the Pirates (11-4) with 12 points in the scrappy game, the kind of a defensive contest only a coach could love.
“It was a good battle between two good teams, and we were fortunate to come out on top,” Raiders coach Ray Kimball said. “We love defending, we like winning close games, and you learn a lot about your kids in close games. Our kids showed how much fight they have.”
P-W trailed 12-10 at the end of the first half, but scored the first eight points of the second to take a 6-point lead, the biggest of the game, with 3:25 left in the third quarter.
Portland’s Nicole Green hit a three on the next possession and then forced a turnover that Spitzley converted into a layup to quickly make it a 1-point game again.
Klein scored all five of her team’s fourth-quarter points, including a 3-pointer that tied the score 24-24 with 4:54 left. But that would be the last field goal the Pirates would muster.
Spitzley scored the next six points of the game, including both ends of a 1-and-1 with 39.8 seconds on the clock that gave the Raiders all the points that they would need.
“Big-time players make big-time plays,” Kimball said of Spitzley. “She got the job done for us.”
P-W coach Steve Eklund was very upbeat after this team’s second consecutive loss, both to teams from Portland. The Pirates lost a CMAC heartbreaker at Portland St. Patrick, 32-31 last Thursday.
“After last week, we had to get up for one of the three best teams in the area,” Eklund said. “We fought our tails off and boy, am I proud of these girls. If we can play with Portland, we can win a Class C state title.”
Green finished with 10 points for the Raiders (13-3), and Marlena Klein added seven for the Pirates.