STANDISH — Jayvon Pitts-Young scored 13 straight points in the second quarter to enable Portland to take control, and Matt Talbot hit two late baskets Tuesday night as the Bulldogs beat Bonny Eagle, 69-60.
The SMAA boys’ basketball game was moved from Bonny Eagle High to St. Joseph’s College to accommodate a large crowd, and the packed house was treacted to an exciting matchup between undefeated teams.
Bonny Eagle trailed by 14 points entering the fourth quarter, then cut it to two with three minutes remaining. But the Bulldogs then went inside to the 6-foot-5 Talbot for two quick baskets before pulling away for good.
Bonny Eagle (11-1) entered the game ranked No. 1 in the Heal point standings; Portland (11-0) was ranked third behind Falmouth. This game was the only regular-season meeting between the two teams. If the Bulldogs can finish out the season unbeaten or with one loss, they likely will be the top seed for the Western Class A tournament.
Trailing 17-13 after the opening quarter, Portland outscored the Scots 24-16 in the second. Pitts-Young, a 6-foot-1 senior, was unstoppable, getting position inside and scoring with slick moves.
The Bulldog pushed their lead to 10 points before Bonny Eagle closed the half with an 8-2 run, capped by a long 3-pointer from Dustin Cole just before the buzzer to make it 37-33.
Cole finished with 25 points.
“The amosphere was crazy and really intense,” said Pitts-Young.
“I was really into the game and my team was really into it, also. We were just having a lot of fun. My team just kept giving me the ball and I finished. It happens. Coach (Joe) Russo gives me tips on how to get open inside and I just used them.”
Pitts-Young scored 15 points in the second quarter and finished with 21.
The Bulldogs scored the first 12 points of the third quarter before Nick Dubay hit a 3-pointer for the Scots with three minutes left. But Steve Alex followed with two straight baskets to give Portland a 53-36 lead.
Ben Malloy of Bonny Eagle hit a 3-pointer to close the third quarter, then hit another to start the fourth, sparking a 9-0 run. After Nate Alexander’s 3-pointer cut Portland’s lead to 55-50. Talbot followed with Portland’s first basket of the quarter with 3:56 remaining.
The Scots kept coming. Alexander hit another 3-pointer from the side, and Jon Woods followed with a steal and a layup to make it a two-point game.
But the Bulldogs stayed composed and outscored the Scots 12-5 the rest of the way, six by Alex.
Talbot finished with 17 points, including the two crucial inside baskets. Alex had 16.
Alexander scored 12 points, all on 3-pointers, and Woods and Malloy had 10 points each for the Scots.
“Bonny Eagle had a great comeback,” said Russo. “Our game plan was to get the ball inside to Matt and Jayvon. Bonny Eagle did a good job stopping Matt in the first half. Even though Matt had two guys on him, it freed things up for Jayvon.
“The bonus of tonight was that we had a tourney atmosphere halfway through the season. Bonny Eagle didn’t give up. Our guys were resilient. We bent but we didn’t fold.”
Late turnovers cost the Scots.
“We have heart, there’s no question about that, but we didn’t play smart,” said Bonny Eagle Coach Phil Bourassa. “We got in a hole and didn’t have enough to get out. Some guys uncharacteristically made turnovers at the end. We’ll correct that and get back at it.
“We saw a lot of things we can do differently. Most of Portland’s points in the first half were in the paint. We didn’t do a very good job on getting a body on them. That allowed Portland to build some confidence going into the third quarter.”
Both teams have important upcoming games – Portland at Deering on Friday and Bonny Eagle at Scarborough on Thursday.
Tom Chard can be reached at 791-6419 or at: