Travis Godbout said it typically takes a while for his shot to come around. By late in the season, it’s there for him.
He’s likely still scratching his head this morning.
Godbout scored 11 of his 15 points in the first quarter Saturday night to help Portland leap to a 16-point lead and go on to a 65-40 victory over Marshwood in an SMAA boys’ basketball game Saturday night at the Expo.
“I was just feeling it,” Godbout said. “The ball was just coming off right in the first quarter.
“I’ve been trying to get it going early, but at the start of season I struggle. Later in the season, I shoot better.”
He hit two 3-pointers from the corner about 30 seconds apart in the opening six minutes to help Portland open a 20-4 lead.
“We come out and do what we’ve got to do,” said Jayvon Pitts-Young, who had seven of his 14 points in the opening run. He also added three rebounds. “We don’t really worry about the other team. Coach gives us the tools, we just have to use them and execute.”
One of those tools was a swarming full-court press. Pitts-Young and point guard Justin Zukowski (10 points, three steals) led the Bulldogs’ press, which forced 25 turnovers.
Matt Talbot added 12 points, four rebounds and two blocked shots in the home opener for the Bulldogs (3-0).
Drew Bartlett led the Hawks (1-2) with 13 points. He hit three 3-pointers, mostly to finish off a fast break when Marshwood was able to beat the Bulldogs’ pressure.
Brady Innes added nine points and eight rebounds.
“Travis Godbout had an excellent first quarter, and we ran our offense to a ‘T,’” said Portland Coach Joe Russo. “That kind of set the tone, gave us a little cushion. Then it seemed we got a little complacent, and we didn’t execute again until third quarter.”
Portland won the game in the first quarter. Talbot, at 6-foot-5, got things started with two free throws 12 seconds into the game, as the 6-5 Innes fouled him on a feed from Zukowski.
Pitts-Young drove the lane for a layup, and Innes countered with a shot from the baseline. Steve Alex scored on a putback and Ryan O’Neil (5 for 6 from the line) hit two free throws to cut Portland’s lead to 6-4 with 5:28 left in the quarter.
Portland then reeled off 14 straight points, led by Godbout (six points) and Pitts-Young (five) on the way to a 25-13 lead after one quarter.
Thanks to that cushion, Marshwood never threatened again.
Russo wasn’t overly concerned with the lapses in the press that helped Marshwood hang with the Bulldogs the rest of the way. Portland outscored Marshwood 11-9 in the second quarter, 19-11 in the third and 10-7 in the fourth.
He cited the need for eight football players on the roster, including four who see steady minutes, to play their way into basketball shape.
“All around, it was a balanced, really solid game,” Russo said. “Our pressure is getting better. We didn’t do a great job, but we did enough to control the tempo.”