Like just about everyone else, the Deering High boys’ basketball team has measured itself for years against Portland, its crosstown rival.

And has come up short.

Thursday night, in a regular-season game that was part of the Red Claws Christmas Showcase at the Expo, Portland won the rivalry game for the 14th straight time, 55-32.

The Rams (4-1) entered the game confident after an undefeated start, but it didn’t take long for the Bulldogs (5-1) to take command.

Portland scored 16 unanswered points, led 16-5 after one quarter and 33-18 at halftime, and had no trouble after that.

Simon Chadbourne led a balanced offense with 12 points for the Bulldogs.

“We played a very good half, two good quarters,” said Portland Coach Joe Russo. “We got loose balls and second chances. Deering’s a very good team. They’re going to be worth a lot of Heal points and the good news is we can still get better.”

Deering got off to a promising start, getting a pair of free throws from Michael Randall and holding Portland scoreless for more than three minutes, but the Bulldogs recovered in a hurry and went on their 16-0 run, sparked by four points from Lewis Gaddas and a 3-pointer from Jeremiah Alado, to seize control.

Gaddas’ defensive intensity also played a key part in the run.

“We’ve had competitive practices all week,” Gaddas said. “We stuck to the game plan and stayed on point. I just try to bring a lot of energy when I’m on the court.”

Portland didn’t let the Rams answer in the second period, going up by as much as 28-9 on a bank shot 3-pointer from Gaddas. Deering did pull within 33-18 at halftime, but only received two points from its standout, Ben Onek, in the opening half.

In the third period, the Bulldogs went cold and didn’t score for nearly five minutes, but the Rams missed the opportunity to make it a game, scoring just two points in that span.

An Onek leaner got Deering as close as 12 points, but Alado buried a clutch 3-pointer and Portland took a 38-24 advantage to the fourth period.

There, the Bulldogs ended all doubts behind 3-pointers from Chadbourne and Stillman Mahan.

“We (feel like we can’t let Deering) beat us,” said Pedro Fonseca, who had nine points for Portland. “The early lead made it easier for us and gave us an opportunity to slow down our offense.”

Alado had 10 points, Gaddas and Trey Bellew contributed seven each, Mahan finished with six, and Portland produced a solid defensive effort, especially on Onek.

“It was the whole team,” Fonseca said. “We wanted to make him go to his weaker hand, his right, and we helped each other out.”

Onek did have 11 points for the Rams and Darryl Germain finished with eight. Randall added six.

“(Portland) pressured and rushed us, and we just fell right into it,” said Deering Coach Todd Wing. “One game doesn’t determine the season. I just have to coach better.”