Portland junior Simon Chadbourne lines up one of his program-record eight 3-pointers during the two-time defending Class AA champion Bulldogs’ 83-37 win over Lewiston in Tuesday’s quarterfinal.
Joe Carpine / 365digitalphotography.com photos.
More photos below.
L- 2 6 14 15- 37
P- 7 18 28 30- 83
L- H. Hussein 6-0-13, Dickinson 3-2-8, N. Hussein 3-0-6, Foy 2-0-5, Poussard 1-0-3, Y. Mohamud 1-0-2
P- Chadbourne 9-1-27, Fonseca 6-1-16, Foley 5-1-12, Moss 5-0-12, Bellew 4-1-9, Clarke 1-0-3, Fisher 1-0-2, Yugu 1-0-2
L (3) Foy, H. Hussein, Poussard 1
P (15) Chadbourne 8, Fonseca 3, Moss 2, Clarke, Foley 1
PORTLAND—When it comes to Portland’s boys’ basketball team, it’s only a matter of time.
You can stymie the Bulldogs for a few minutes, or even a quarter, but when they hit their stride, look out.
The eighth-ranked Lewiston Blue Devils were the latest victim of No. 1 Portland’s onslaught when the teams squared off in a Class AA North quarterfinal Tuesday evening at the Portland Exposition Building.
The Bulldogs looked like anything but potential champions when they only posted seven first quarter points, but they still managed to lead by five, 7-2.
While Lewiston only trailed by two, 8-6, early in the second period, Portland quickly opened things up, thanks to a pair of 3-pointers from junior sharpshooter Simon Chadbourne, which sparked a 17-0 run to produce a 25-8 halftime advantage.
Bulldogs junior Pedro Fonseca, who didn’t score in the first half, then tallied eight points in 29 seconds at the start of the third period and had 14 points in that frame as Portland completely ended the competitive phase of the contest, extending its lead to 53-22.
The Bulldogs, who got a new program-record eight 3-pointers from Chadbourne, never looked back from there and rolled to a 83-37 victory.
Chadbourne led all scorers with 27 points, Fonseca added 16 and Portland improved to 18-1, won its seventh consecutive postseason game, its 11th straight regional playoff game, ended Lewiston’s season at 2-17 and advanced to set up a semifinal showdown against No. 4 Windham (14-5) Tuesday of next week at the Cross Insurance Arena across town.
“The first (playoff) game can be tough,” said Portland coach Joe Russo. “It’s a balancing act. We penetrated more in the second half. When we do that and share the ball, we have a lot of weapons.”
Portland didn’t play a quarterfinal round game the past two years, as it had a bye in that round after taking the top spot in Class AA North.
This winter, all eight teams from the region qualified, necessitating an extra round of the tournament, this time played on the home court of the higher seeds.
The Bulldogs have produced yet another superb season, with one hiccup, a three-point loss at Scarborough. Portland vanquished everyone else (see sidebar, below, for links to previous game stories) and for the fifth year in a row, earned the top seed.
Lewiston lost its first five games, downed Mt. Blue and Noble, then dropped its final 11 contests to finish eighth in the region.
The teams met Jan. 15 and the Bulldogs rolled in Lewiston, 80-48, behind 17 points apiece from Fonseca and senior standout Terion Moss.
Portland had won five of the eight prior playoff meetings (see sidebar below), but Tuesday’s encounter was the first in 48 years.
The Bulldogs started slowly, but eventually hit their stride and went on to a decisive victory.
Lewiston scored first, on a layup from senior Derek Foy with 5;35 to play in the first period, but the Blue Devils wouldn’t score again in the frame.
With 4:38 left, Portland finally broke the ice, as Moss took a long pass from Fonseca and made a layup.
Two minutes later, Chadbourne hit his first 3 and the hosts had the lead for good. Chadbourne then set up senior Griffin Foley for a fastbreak layup for a 7-2 advantage after one quarter.
The Blue Devils got within two early in the second period before the Bulldogs completely blew it open.
Lewiston senior Noor Hussein started the frame with a driving layup and after a free throw from Portland junior Trey Bellew, Blue Devils junior Hassan Hussein hit a jumper to cut the deficit to 8-6.
The next 17 points went to Portland.
A Chadbourne 3 got things started and 12 seconds later, after he forced a turnover, Chadbourne got the ball back and drained another 3 to make it 14-6.
“We needed energy,” Chadbourne said. “We seemed to be dead at the beginning. It didn’t feel like a playoff game.”
Moss added a layup, Moss set up Bellew for a layup, Moss fed Chadbourne for a layup, Moss buried a 3 and with 1:32 left in the half, after faking out a defender with a terrific move, Moss went in for a layup and a 25-8 lead.
In the first half, Chadbourne paced the Bulldogs with 11 points, while Moss added nine.
Portland was just heating up, as its third quarter production exceeded its points total from the first half.
Fonseca immediately made his presence felt with a 3-pointer 13 seconds into the third period.
Twenty-two seconds later, Fonseca made a layup, was fouled and added the free throw for the old-fashioned three-point play.
Then, with 7:18 to go in the quarter, Fonseca scored on a putback for eight points in 29-second span to stretch the lead to 33-8.
“In the first half, I tried to do too much and I wasn’t focused,” Fonseca said. “In the second half, Coach just told me to play basketball.”
“Pedro does everything for us,” Chadbourne said. “He plays defense and rebounds. It was good to see him score too.”
“Pedro got off to a bad start and felt sorry for himself, so I told him to stay in the locker room if he was going to sorry for himself,” Russo added. “I told him he’s a competitor and to come out and play.”
After Dickinson made a free throw for the Blue Devils, Moss set up Foley for a layup and Foley drove for a layup to make it 37-9.
Noor Hussein banked home a shot for Lewiston, then scored on a putback and Hassan Hussein banked home a shot, but Fonseca countered with a 3 and Bellew scored on a putback for a 42-15 advantage.
Senior Garrett Poussard sank a 3 for the Blue Devils before Moss fed Bellew for a layup.
After Hassan Hussein hit a floater and drove for a layup, Foley made a free throw, Foley scored on a putback, Fonseca hit a 3 and Chadbourne canned a 3-ball for a 53-22 advantage heading to the final stanza.
There, the Bulldogs slammed the door with a little bit of history mixed in.
Foy started the fourth period with a 3, but Foley and Chadbourne countered with 3s of their own to push the lead to 59-25.
Portland’s long-distance parade continued, as first Moss, then Chadbourne, made 3-pointer to make it a 40-point contest.
After Lewiston junior Yasin Mohamed made a layup, Chadbourne hit a 3 while being fouled and added the free throw for the rare four-point play.
Dickinson got a point back at the line, but Fonseca and Bellew each scored on putbacks and Yugu made a layup after a steal.
Then, with 2:48 to go, Chadbourne sank a 3 from NBA-range, pushing the lead to 78-28, giving him eight 3s on the night, surpassing Robert Pillsbury, Liam Densmore and Terion Moss for the program record for 3-balls in a single game.
“Once I got to six, my teammates told me they were going to keep giving me the ball,” Chadbourne said. “It felt pretty good.”
“I was excited for him,” Fonseca said. “To beat Pillsbury is amazing. It’s a team game. Whoever is playing really good, we want to get them the ball and let them keep the hot hand.”
“Simon is a pure shooter,” Russo added. “His teammates are looking for him and recognizing when he’s open. He’s moving better without the ball. We’re setting some nice screens for him to give him room. They’re cognizant of making good screens. His teammates respect what he brings.”
Hassan Hussein countered with a layup and Dickinson made a leaner, but senior Ben Fisher scored on a putback for the hosts.
Down the stretch, Dickinson hit a leaner, senior Quinn Clarke made a 3 for Portland’s final points and a long 3 from Hassan Hussein accounted for the 83-37 final score.
“We pushed each other,” Fonseca said. “We knew we had to play as a team. We were a little bit cocky and we came out lazy. We found out it wasn’t going to be easy.”
“The first quarter wasn’t pretty,” Russo said. “They slowed it up a little bit. They wanted to keep it manageable. We fell into a lull. When it trickled into the second quarter, that’s when I got concerned. We worried more about what we needed to do. Teams will pack it in on us and play zones, so we have to be ready.”
Chadbourne led all scorers with 27 points. He also grabbed four rebounds.
Fonseca added 16 points, all in the second half, to go with six rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Foley had 12 points and Moss just missed a triple-double with 12 points, nine rebounds and nine assists.
“Terion played really well tonight,” Russo said. “He had six assists in the third quarter. I thought he played a great floor game.”
Bellew contributed nine points (to go with five rebounds and two blocked shots), Clarke had three and Fisher and Yugu (seven rebounds, three steals) both finished with two.
The Bulldogs made 15 3-pointers, outrebounded the Blue Devils, 48-27, only turned the ball over 11 times and hit 4 of 10 foul shots.
For Lewiston, Hassan Hussein led the way with 13 points, Dickinson added eight, Noor Hussein had six, Foy five, Poussard three and Mohamud two.
The Blue Devils made 2 of 4 free throws and committed 20 turnovers.
The last time Portland played a game at the Cross Insurance Arena, the erstwhile Cumberland County Civic Center, it edged South Portland in a double-overtime epic in the inaugural Class AA state final.
This time around, the Bulldogs could be tested by a Windham squad that was highly touted entering the season and one that has captured 14 games so far, including Tuesday’s 78-62 home win over No. 5 Bangor in its quarterfinal.
On Dec. 13, in just the second game of the season, Portland beat the host Eagles, 61-44. Moss was the difference in that one with 27 points. The teams have met just once before in the tournament, a 57-50 Bulldogs’ victory in the 2015 Western A quarterfinals.
“We have to get ready for Windham,” Chadbourne said. “We’ll practice hard and get some rest. We have to bring energy.”
“Windham is a tough draw,” Russo said. “They’re very good. We have to utilize our depth. We’re confident and we can’t come out slow.”
Portland senior Terion Moss goes to the basket.
Portland senior Manny Yugu handles the ball.
Portland junior Trey Bellew is defended by Lewiston junior Hunter Dickinson.
Portland senior Terion Moss is defended by Lewiston senior Garrett Poussard.
Portland senior Griffin Foley finishes at the rim.
1970 LL West quarterfinal
Portland 73 Lewiston 60
1969 LL West quarterfinal
Lewiston 61 Portland 59
1968 LL West quarterfinal
Portland 87 Lewiston 63
Portland 45 Lewiston 40
Portland 25 Lewiston 21
Lewiston 20 Portland 18
Lewiston 28 Portland 15
Portland 32 Lewiston 28