PORTLAND – Coming into his senior year, Brett Patrick knew he would have to carry a bigger load for the Portland boys basketball team to be successful.
He came into the new season as the only returning starter for a Raiders team that lost eight players to graduation a year ago. He’s answered the call of coach Dave Pettit in recent weeks, putting together strong late-game performances to help Portland get back to the winning ways that led the team to a Class B district title last season.
And he did it again Tuesday night.
The senior scored 10 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter to help the Raiders pull away from Lakewood and grab a 53-44 nonconference victory.
“When it’s a close game, I trust my ability to score,” Patrick said. “I try to get the ball in my hands, and my teammates do a good job of getting me the ball. I just try to put it in the basket.
“We had some younger guys come up that are learning their roles and getting better and better as the year goes on.”
It was the work of underclassmen Bobby Brandsen and Owen Russell that allowed Portland to sit in the driver’s seat for most of Tuesday’s contest. Brandsen, a sophomore, also scored 18 points, while Russell, a freshman, added 13 points.
Pettit said he’s been asking for more out of his young duo in recent weeks.
“(Brandsen’s) last four games or so, he’s really played better,” the eighth-year coach said. “He’s really picked it up. He’s rebounding the ball well, scoring in transition, and his pull-up jumper is coming along.
“(Russell’s) a freshman. We brought him up for his offense. Now, we’re halfway through the year and we’re really challenging him and getting more demanding on the defensive end. He’s got to pick it up down there, and sometimes, being a freshman, it’s a little bit different. But he can shoot the ball really well.
The Raiders (6-5), who are on a three-game winning streak, held a 31-24 lead over the Vikings (2-11) midway through the third quarter before Lakewood junior Josh Campeau ignited a 9-0 scoring spurt to give his team its first lead since 4-2. Campeau scored a game-high 23 points, which included 14 points in the final 16 minutes to help keep the Vikings within striking distance.
Portland pulled away by hitting back with a 6-0 run at the end of third and a 10-2 run halfway through the final quarter.
“We had a couple guys step up tonight, but we had a lot of guys who weren’t mentally ready to play tonight,” Lakewood coach Chris Duits said. “We’ve had opportunities. We got down early, and then we fight back. Then we get some defensive stops — we have the opportunity to take the lead or extend the lead. It seems like one play, we take one play off or make one errant pass, and then it kind of snowballs. We go back into a hole.”
“We have guys that don’t quit. They play for 32 minutes, but we just have to play better for 32 minutes.”
Doug Flessner scored six points and Jacob Elenbaas scored five points for the Vikings.
Contact James L. Edwards III at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @JLEdwardsIII.