Westwood basketball suffers its worse loss
"We did some things that aren't characteristic of this team and played our worse game of the season," Bryant said. "But like I told the kids at the end of the game, 'We just need to regroup and go to work on the rest of the season."
Perched atop the Northern Section Division VI rankings, Westwood (14-2, 4-1) got into trouble early in the first half against Portola and could not fight its way back, succumbing 79-51.
The Lumberjacks committed nine turnovers (seven unforced) in the first quarter and trailed 32-11 entering the second quarter. Meanwhile, T.J. Arterberry, the section's leading scorer, was slapped with three fouls in the first half and played just eight minutes.
"Our kids played hard, but I think we came out way too excited against a very good basketball team. Portola's effectiveness on the boards really hurts," Bryant said.
Mike Naseath led Westwood with 17 points. Portola's Jason Ferrin knocked down 30.
The Lumberjacks entered the game after thrashing Chester 65-25 on the road the night before. Westwood held the Volcanoes to seven points in the first half, ending Bryant's "rivalry worries" about playing its arch-enemy.
Arterberry dumped in 25 and Naseath netted 10.
The week before, Westwood handed Greenville a 75-57 loss and pounded Loyalton 68-33.
Greenville, ranked third in Division VI, struggled in the second quarter and trailed 38-26 at the half. "It was a good game all the way. We kept them from getting on a roll," Bryant said.
Arterberry again led the way with 22 and Naseath scored 18. Willie Kellogg and Nick Brown combined for 25 points.
Strong defense put stranglehold on Loyalton. The Grizzlies mustered just four points in the second quarter and were down 31-15 at the half. Arterberry deposited 25 and Naseath added 22.
Westwood should cruise to three wins this week, hosting Downieville and traveling to Herlong and Downieville.