Union Democrat staff

The Columbia Claim Jumpers have a history of not playing well in Porterville and that trend continued Wednesday night with a 81-74 loss.

Columbia trailed 40-36 at halftime and was outscored 41-38 in the second half.

“The tougher more together group tonight won,” said Columbia head coach Rob Hoyt. “We got away from what has been working for us recently and let some adversity shake us to the point of no return.”

Columbia got another strong performance from sophomore Lewayne Grant with 31 points.

“I thought Lewayne Grant played like a conference MVP tonight,” Hoyt said.

Freshman Eugene Harvey scored 10 points and pulled down eight rebounds in what Hoyt called his best game of the year.

But where the Jumpers fell flat was in slowing down Porterville’s uptempo offense.

“Collectively we did not give our best effort in stopping Porterville from racing the ball up the court or keeping them off the glass,” Hoyt said. “The tougher team won tonight. I believe we will be ready to go on Saturday with a new mindset.”

Columbia (8-8, 3-2 Central Valley League) returns Saturday to Oak Pavilion for the first time in nearly two weeks for at 6 p.m. tip-off against Merced.