CROWN POINT | An undersized Portage came into Friday’s Duneland Conference road test at Crown Point looking for its first league win.
Battle-tested Crown Point (9-4, 3-2 DAC) was simply too big and too well-drilled and held off a scrappy Portage 64-47 to post its fifth win in six games.
“We like where we are right now,” Crown Point coach Clint Swan said. “We still have a long way to go. I really like how we’re playing together.
“We just have to work on putting together four good quarters. I think our consistency could be much better.”
Crown Point led 16-9 at the first stop, but Portage (7-9, 0-5) closed the second quarter with a 6-0 run to get within 27-20. A 3-pointer by Jordan Collazo pulled Portage within 27-23 early in the third.
The game turned two possessions later with CP up 29-23. A double technical and a foul gave CP two free throws. Blake Bonin hit both to give CP some cushion.
“I do think we seized control of the game after that again,” Swan said. “I thought we had it in the first half, and then we got it back in the second.”
Crown Point led 47-33 after three quarters.
“It was a physical game,” Portage coach Rick Snodgrass said. “I was proud of how hard our kids played. I thought our kids played extremely hard.
“We’re undersized, we don’t have the depth they have, we don’t have the shooters they have, but, by God, we play hard.”
Crown Point starts three players — Grant Gelon (6-4), Bret Barclay (6-5) and Nick Jeffirs (6-6) — who have at least three inches on the tallest Portage player.
“We’re playing 6-7, 6-8 in the conference, we have to make shots to be able to compete,” Snodgrass said. “The games we’ve lost, we just haven’t shot well.”
Portage shot 32.7 percent from the field (18-of-55), while CP shot 48.6 percent (18-of-37).
Jacob Bearss scored 12 points to lead the Indians.
Grant Gelon led the Bulldogs with 15 points, while Josh Berquist and Bret Barclay finished with 13 each.
Crown Point travels to East Chicago tonight.
“It’s always a good opportunity for us to go there and play,” Swan said. “We’re running the gauntlet now. … We’ve got five tough ones coming up, and we’re going to see what we’re made of.”