Portilloz named national player of the week

The NJCAA has selected South Arkansas Community College freshman forward Kylee Portilloz as Division II Basketball Player of the Week, the first national honor ever received by a SouthArk student-athlete.

Portilloz was selected for the week ending Feb. 21 after putting up 27 points and snagging 19 rebounds en route to the Stars’ 69-62 upset victory over National Park College in overtime on Saturday (Feb. 18).

Portilloz also was named Region 2 Player of the Week for the week ending Feb. 19.

Wins have been hard to come by this season for the Stars (2-17, 1-8 in Region 2 play), particularly after roster numbers fell all the way to six players in the second half of the season. The Stars even were forced to cancel or forfeit several games early last month when, due to illness and injury, they could not field a complete team. They finished one game this season with only three players on the floor after multiple players fouled out.

Despite the challenges, Portilloz, of Choudrant, Louisiana, has put together a dominant season, leading Region 2 in both scoring (19.2 points per game) and rebounding (11.9 rebounds per game). In Saturday’s win, Portilloz never left the court, which included the extra minutes of an overtime period. Her game-high point total came with nine of 11 free throws.

Portilloz now is in the top 15 in the nation among D-II schools in both points per game and rebounds per game.

The Stars will travel to SAU Tech on Saturday to play the Rockets, who are ranked 14th nationally and are leading Region 2 with an undefeated record.