Portland High School is a team that thrives on energy and momentum.
On Thursday afternoon, it took the Bulldogs barley four minutes to change the complexion of their biggest game of the season to date.
Elizabeth Yugu scored four points to help spark a decisive 15-0 scoring surge to end the first half, setting the tone for No. 2 Portland’s 54-42 Class AA North semifinal victory over Bangor at Cross Insurance Arena.
Portland (17-3) advances to play the winner of Thursday’s game between No. 1 Oxford Hills (18-1) and No. 5 Windham (12-7) in Saturday’s 2 p.m. championship game at Cross Arena.
Third-seeded Bangor closes out the season at 13-7.
Ultimately, it was Portland’s quickness and aggressiveness that proved Bangor’s undoing. Spearheaded by junior guard Amanda Kabantu, the Bulldogs were able not only to attack the Rams’ 1-2-2 zone off the dribble, they also were first to the boards and earned themselves numerous opportunities because of their offensive rebounding prowess.
Bangor didn’t get too many second chances at the offensive end and could not match Portland’s quickness on defense.
Kabantu was the catalyst for Portland, scoring a game-high 20 points with her explosive drives to the basket and her rebounding prowess. Among her dozen or so rebounds were several offensive boards.
Gemima Potema scored 10 points for the Bulldogs, while Davina Kabantu, Amanda’s cousin, and Kiera Eubanks tallied six points each.
Pete is a Bangor native who graduated from Bangor High School, Class of 1980. He earned a B.S. in Journalism (Advertising) from the University of Maine in 1986. He has been a full-time member of the Bangor...
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