Liam Densmore hit seven 3-pointers and finished with a career-high 31 points to lead Portland to its fourth straight win of the season, a 75-51 victory over previously unbeaten Gorham in an SMAA boys’ basketball game Tuesday night at the Portland Expo.

The Bulldogs went undefeated last season (22-0) on their way to the state title and have now won 26 straight games.

This was a matchup of teams expected to contend for the regional title and the Bulldogs certainly looked capable of repeating.

It was close after a wide open, fast-paced first half which ended with Portland holding a 39-37 lead.

The third quarter was a different story as Portland’s defensive pressure turned the game around. The Bulldogs forced turnovers with their press and had stops at the other end. Portland scored the first 17 points of the quarter. Spencer Ruda converted a three-point play near the end of the quarter to prevent Gorham (2-1) from being shut out.

Portland’s scoring was balanced, with five players contributing. Densmore had five points in the third quarter while Steve Alex and Tanner Foley had two baskets apiece. Densmore started the run with a 3-pointer from the side. Foley scored inside. Alex scored on a layup after a steal at midcourt. Densmore followed with a basket. The Bulldogs kept up the defensive pressure and reeled off 17 straight points and outscored Gorham 36-14 in the second half.

“At halftime, I told the players to start pressuring the ball and dictate the movement of the ball,” said Portland Coach Joe Russo. “We contested their passes and shots. Offensively, I liked what I saw in the first half. We just needed to step up our offense.”

In the fourth quarter, Portland continued to pull away. Densmore, a senior transfer from Deering, and Alex, the lone starter back from a year ago, combined for 16 of the team’s 19 points.

“It’s been great,” said Densmore about playing for Portland. “I really like playing for Coach Russo.”

In the first half, both teams went up and down the court in an entertaining 16 minutes of action. Densmore got the Bulldogs off to a great start with three 3-pointers in the first quarter. He finished with five 3-pointers and 17 points in the first half.

“My teammates were getting me the ball and I was wide open,” said Densmore, who said his previous career-high was 19 points. “In the first half, we didn’t play very good defense.”

Another highlight for Portland in the first half was Alex’s dunk on a semi-breakaway. It came late in the half as part of a mini-run and help spark the Bulldogs in the second half.

“It got me fired up,” said Densmore.

Gorham stayed with the Bulldogs in the first half on the scoring of Nick Thibeault and Tyler Bernaiche and accuracy from the line. Thibeault had 11 points in the first half, but didn’t score in the second. Bernaiche had 10 points. The Rams were 12 of 14 from the line while Portland was only 6 of 12.

“I thought we were in great position after the first half, trailing them by only two points on their court,” said Gorham Coach Mark Karter. “Portland completely dismantled us in the third quarter. I thought we were better. Portland is a very good team. One of the best in Western Maine. They know how to win. We’re still searching. We’re looking to take the next step. We want to be where Portland is.”

Gorham played its second straight game without 6-foot-4 junior forward Sam Kilborn, who injured his knee in the opener against Marshwood. Kilborn was one of the league’s top sophomores a year ago.

Alex finished with 15 points. Bernaiche led Gorham with 13 points while Ruda added 11.