Portland boys’ basketball coach Joe Russo believes his team is better than its record indicates. Saturday afternoon at the Portland Expo, the Bulldogs gave a glimpse of their potential, using strong 3-point shooting and an 18-2 second-half run to beat Scarborough, 59-40.

The Bulldogs scored the final two points of the third quarter and the first 10 of the fourth to break the game open. They got 15 points from Pedro Fonseca, 12 from Simon Chadbourne and 11 from Stillman Mahan as they improved to 7-4.

“We talked before the game and I said that in all fairness we should be 9-1, but we were 6-4,” said Russo. “I told the guys it was time to play like a 9-1 team, not a 6-4 team. We played like a 6-4 team at the beginning of the game, but we finished up like a 9-1 team.”

Portland got the job done from the perimeter in the first quarter, as Mahan hit a pair of 3-pointers and Jeremiah Alado and Chadbourne drained one apiece. A late putback from Alado made it 14-8 after eight minutes.

In the second quarter, Scarborough pulled within two on a driving layup from Rowan MacDonald, but a free throw from Richard Greenwood and a 3 just before the horn from Alado put Portland up 22-16.

The Red Storm went on a 7-2 run in the third quarter, capped by a Brian Austin bank shot, to cut the deficit to 27-25, but Chadbourne answered with consecutive 3-pointers. Nick Fiorillo then countered with a jump shot, a block and a long jumper to make it 33-29. After Fiorillo cut the deficit to three with a leaner and a free throw, it was all Portland the rest of the way.

A Fonseca layup made it 37-32 heading into the fourth. Trey Bellew converted a three-point play, Fonseca drove for a layup, Mahan hit two free throw and Fonseca made a layup, then added a free throw.

“We had composure and patience,” said Fonseca, who also had four rebounds, three steals and two assists. “We ran the plays, kept it simple on offense and we played good defense.”

Scarborough (4-7) was led by Fiorillo with 17 points but didn’t make a single 3-pointer.

“Obviously, we had a dry spell on the offensive end, and defensively, we didn’t do the things we did the first three quarters in the fourth quarter,” said Red Storm Coach Phil Conley.” That was the game right there.

“Hopefully we’ll learn from this and be better down the stretch.”

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