The Red Riots force turnovers and hang on to the top spot in Class AA South.
BY STEVE CRAIGSTAFF WRITER
SOUTH PORTLAND — This time it was Liam Coyne’s turn to be the difference maker for South Portland.
With South Portland trailing Windham early in Tuesday’s Class AA boys’ basketball game, Red Riots Coach Kevin Millington inserted Coyne into the game. Coyne, the third player off the bench, jump-started the Class AA South’s league leaders with steals and two key second-quarter 3-pointers that helped erase the deficit and lead South Portland to a 62-53 win at Beal Gym.
Coyne finished with a team-high 14 points as South Portland improved to 12-3.
“I’ve been saying for a long time I really feel like we have eight starters,” Millington said. “Tonight we needed a little bit more quickness and Liam’s a great defender. We know that we can go that way if we need to and we did.”
Windham, ranked sixth in AA North at 10-5, was coming off a Saturday win against previously unbeaten Edward Little. The Eagles started quickly, moving the ball briskly in the half court, and took a 13-6 lead on Chris Brown’s second 3-pointer that was set up by a crisp dish off penetration by Nick Curtis (13 points).
South Portland went to a full-court press and began aggressively overplaying the passing lanes. At the half, Windham had 15 turnovers (27 for the game) and South Portland led 26-25 despite shooting 3 of 14 in the second quarter. Two of the baskets were 3-pointers by Coyne and the Red Riots also made 5-of-6 free throws.
It was more of the same in the third quarter as South Portland pushed its lead to 47-38. Windham had another eight turnovers and the Red Riots closed the quarter with a flourish. In the final 30 seconds, Coyne made his third 3-pointer and Riley Hasson (12 points) took a long outlet pass from Connor Buckley and beat the buzzer with a layup.
The game featured a brother vs. brother matchup between South Portland senior Ruay Bol and Windham sophomore Dierhow Bol. The family moved to Windham prior to the school year. Ruay was granted a waiver to finish his senior year at South Portland.
Dierhow Bol scored 11 points and grabbed 18 rebounds. Ruay, in foul trouble all night, scored nine. Both brothers fouled out in the fourth quarter.
“My team did a really good job of picking up my slack that I left for them,” Ruay Bol said.
Ansel Stilley had a strong all-around game for South Portland, scoring eight points and battling on the boards. Stilley blocked a potential tying 3-pointer by Mike Gilman (team-high 18 points) with 1:20 to play.
“The game was physical on our guards and we kind of got caught up going at their speed and coming in we knew we couldn’t go at their speed,” said Windham Coach Chad Pulkkinen.
South Portland then iced the game with free throws.
Windham at South Portland
Tuesday, January 31, 2017
South Portland 62, Windham 53
|SOUTH PORTLAND (12-3)|