May 30, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Strong third quarter lifts Portola past University 86-67 in PCL match-up

Center Mohsen Hasheimi (left) and guard Robert Giraldy led Portola to a PCL victory Tuesday night. (Photo Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone)

Portola’s boys basketball team broke open a close game at halftime with a big third quarter run Tuesday night and went on to defeat University 86-67 in a Pacific Coast League game at Uni.

Encouraged by its home fans, University overcame a 14-point deficit after one quarter to take a one-point lead at halftime. Arjun Gill had seven of the points in the quarter and Kody Uyesugi six.

But in the third quarter, Portola outscored University 30-14 to take control. Portola scored 30 points in the first and third quarters.

“The style that they play is getting up and down and they want to score and push the pace and they’ve done a great job all year doing that, but I was proud of our guys’ effort because we’ve wanted to do that too,” said Portola Coach Brian Smith.

“I thought our second half was the difference. If we can do that consistently, that makes us a fun team to watch.”

Guard Robert Giraldy led the way with 27 points and seven 3-pointers for Portola (10-11, 2-1).

“He’s one of those kids that when he’s hitting he’s fun to watch, when they’re not going in it’s frustrating sometimes, but he had a lot of confidence and played really hard and got his teammates involved tonight,” Smith said. “He played in rhythm tonight and when he plays in rhythm, he’s pretty tough.”

Portola also got strong efforts from starting center Mohsen Hashemi, who scored 18 points and Josh Steinberg, who came off the bench to score 16 points. Soma Doherty added 12 points for Portola.

University (7-11, 1-2) was led by Uyesugi, who had 16 points and four 3-pointers. Sam Hedayat and Gill had 15 points each for the Trojans.

-Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone; timburt@ocsportszone.com