Future Razorbacks

Arkansask basketball fans got a chance at a look at the future Tuesday afternoon in Fort Smith when Little Rock Hall's Bobby Portis helped lead the Warriors to a 63-39 win over Clarksville and fellow Razorback 2013 commit Dederick Lee and Clarksville.

FORT SMITH - Two future Razorbacks who both looking to lead their teams to state championships once again got together Tuesday and the bigger one left with bragging rights.

Junior big man Bobby Portis had 24 points, 10 rebounds and 4 blocks as he led defending Class 7A champ Little Rock Hall to a 63-39 win over defending Class 4A champ Clarksville in the opening round of the Coke Classic.

That gave the 6-9, 226-pound Portis the edge over fellow 2013 Razorback commit Dederick Lee, a 6-1 guard who had 18 points and 3 assists in the loss for the Panthers.

"I think it was great for the fans to come out and see two future Razorbacks compete against each other and try to win," Portis said.

Portis – ranked as the 30th-best player nationally in the 2013 class by Scout.com - walked away with the victory after hitting 10-of-16 field goals, 2-of-5 3-pointers and 2-of-3 free throws.

His performance came despite battling a chest cold that has bothered him now for a couple of weeks.

"I thought considering he was out there playing with a cold that he played pretty good," Hall head coach Jon Coleman said. "We expect Bobby – and I know he expects – to fill up the stat sheet each and every game."

Lee is the tallest Clarksville starter at 6-1 and had to work hard to get his points against the Warriors (9-3).

He was 5-of-13 from the field, 2-of-9 on 3-pointers and 6-of-6 from the free throw line on a team on which he is the opponent's main focus – especially after committing to Arkansas.

"I have got a big target," Lee said. "Every team always says my name for some reason. I don't know why they know it and the coach will be like ‘lock up 23.'"

Hall jumped to a 16-5 lead in the opening quarter even with Portis only scoring two points.

He would pour in 20 more over the next two quarters and added a jumper early in the fourth before exiting for good.

"In the second quarter, I tried to get myself going defensive wise with a lot of blocks," Portis said. "My shots weren't falling in the first quarter so I just had to get myself going on the defensive end while my offense came together."

Portis was able to step out and take shots anytime he wanted over the smaller Panthers.

"Most people don't know that I can shoot so that is to my advantage," Portis said.

His range surprised Lee, who just knew about his fellow future Razorbacks' inside game.

"He (Portis) was doing work in there," Lee said. "I didn't know he was going to hit some threes like that. He went out there did what he needed to do."

Portis also impressed Clarksville head coach Tony Davis, whose team played current Razorback freshman Hunter Mickelson the last few years when he was at Jonesboro Westside.

"He looked pretty skilled," Davis said. "He looked the prototypical Princeton high post guy – stepping out, facing up and knocking down shots.

"He is a very nice player," Davis added. "He is probably as good a big guy that I have seen. We have played Mickelson the last two years and I like Portis every bit as much as Hunter I think."

Portis was a fan of what he saw from Lee as well.

"Dederick is really quick off the dribble and off the screens he can pull up and shoot the threes," Portis said.

Clarksville, who returned all five starters but lost two seniors that Davus provided toughness off the bench, is now 8-5 against a very tough schedule.

"We have played the murderer's row non-conference schedule with Jonesboro, (Little Rock) Parkview and (Little Rock) McClellan," Davis said. "That is what we do just trying to get better. I just want to see us compete for a little bit. I think tonight we did for a little bit.

"But right now they are probably the premier program in the state," Davis added. "There are probably two or three others you could put in the same sentence with them, but what they have done the last three or four years and what they are going to do the next 10 to 12 years. They are incredible."

Portis, whose team will be back in action Wednesday night at 7:45, says his team is just trying to get better each night.

"I think our three losses really helped us as a team come together and play harder," Portis said. "We are trying to make a statement this year that we are the champions and we are coming for a three-peat."

Bobby Portis

Dederick Lee

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