Losing one game doesn’t have to mean losing your rhythm. The Portland boys’ basketball team proved that this weekend with two blowout wins coming off its first loss of the season.

After defeating Thornton Academy by 39 points Friday night, the Bulldogs rolled past Bangor 77-47 on Saturday at the Portland Expo to improve their record to 13-1.

“We didn’t talk about going undefeated so it wasn’t like we couldn’t lose a couple games,” Portland Coach Joe Russo said. “You don’t want one loss to define you. It refocused us.”

Portland enjoyed points from 10 players. Terion Moss led the Bulldogs with 19 points, Griffin Foley put up 17 and Simon Chadbourne added 10, including three 3-pointers.

The Bulldogs suffered their first loss last Saturday, falling to Scarborough, 69-66. Prior to that game they had 11 straight wins and averaged a 23-point margin of victory.

“We’re really bouncing back off our loss against Scarborough,” Moss said. “It’s a big win for us because now we’re back in our rhythm.”

With Matt Fleming on Bangor’s roster, beating the Rams (7-6) certainly wasn’t a given. But Fleming, a junior who has verbally committed to joining his brother Andrew at the University of Maine, struggled to make shots early and Bangor entered the fourth quarter down 49-28.

Fleming finished with 17 points, Damien Vance added 14 and Henry Westrich 13 for Bangor.

“What happened? We played a very good Portland team, didn’t hit shots early and took some bad shots in the second half thinking we would get back by shooting 3s,” Bangor Coach Carl Parker said. “I think the physicality of the game was eye-opening for our kids.”

Moss turned up the pressure early following a Vance 3-pointer that cut Portland’s lead to 7-5.

After a Trey Ballew basket for Portland, Moss forced a turnover, then took it in for a layup. On Bangor’s next possession, Moss stole the ball again, then connected with Pedro Fonseca on a bounce pass as they charged toward the basket. Fonseca made the layup before a Moss basket capped an eight-point run for Portland.

“Today was like vintage Terion,” Russo said. “He saw the open man and gave nice crisp passes that gave them plenty of time to shoot.”

Meanwhile, Bangor couldn’t catch a break. Late in the first quarter, Moss intercepted a pass intended for Fleming and took it into the paint. Fleming managed to run him down and swat away the shot, which sailed to Foley from behind the arc. He hit a 3-pointer that put Portland up 20-8 heading to the second quarter.

Portland continued to pull away throughout, with Moss going 6 of 6 from the foul line in the second quarter and Foley putting up 10 points in the fourth, including eight in the opening minute with two 3-pointers.

“In the second half we took care of the ball a little better and played together as a team,” Foley said. “We want to be known as the best team and have that confidence, so we kind of took (our loss) as a personal challenge.”

Fleming found his rhythm late in the game, hitting back-to-back 3-pointers with two minutes left.

Fortunately for the Rams, they’re young, without a single senior.

“Down here it’s hard for us to simulate the speed of the game. It’s not that we can’t play with them, it just shocks you,” Parker said. “Mentally we have to get a lot tougher. … This is a team that’s building for the future along the way.”

Taylor Vortherms can be contacted at 791-6417 or

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