By Cody Leist
WAVERLY — How Ky’re Allison goes in this year’s tournament, so will Portsmouth.
The sophomore guard scored 17 of his game-high 31 points in the second half of Wednesday’s Division III Southeast Sectional Semifinal at Waverly’s Downtown Gymnasium as the No. 3 Trojans dispatched No. 14 Westfall 75-53. Portsmouth will look to return to the district tournament after a one-year hiatus with a win Saturday over No. 6 Lynchburg-Clay, which survived a 76-72 upset bid in the night’s second semifinal over No. 11 West.
Wednesday’s game was just another example of Allison’s growing confidence according to Trojans coach Gene Collins into becoming one of the best players in the region.
“He was the best player on the court tonight and when he’s the best player, we’re really good,” Collins said.
However, the lower-seeded Mustangs made things interesting for the first quarter of the contest. With four lead changes in the opening period, Portsmouth woke up, using runs of 6-0 at the beginning and 12-0 at the end for a 37-22 lead at halftime.
Despite the double-digit lead, Collins did not have the emotions that one may expect with such a spurt to close out a half.
“I really wasn’t happy at halftime, I really thought the front line of our press just let them dribble around us,” Collins said. “Wasn’t real solid so we made an adjustment, we flipped the front line and the back line of the press, put Allison and (Alex) Dickerson on the front line and it made a huge difference.:
The changes appeared to have worked almost immediately. With a 39-26 lead, Allison had back-to-back steals that resulted in breakaway tomahawk dunks. He added one-handed slam in the fourth, this time in the middle of traffic, that increased the lead to 58-41 and took what remaining momentum Westfall had left in the tank.
“That’s two games in a row where he’s got a crease down the lane and was able to go in and dunk it in a crowd,” Collins said. “It really gets our guys energized.”
Not only was Allison 13-of-21 from the field, he also grabbed 10 rebounds. Only Alex Dickerson matched his efforts on the glass.
The Trojans forced 24 turnovers in the contest, which resulted in 29 points.
Kendal Reynolds finished with 14 points while Sky Oliver, who was battling an illness, chipped in with 11 in the victory. Dylan Anderson led the Mustangs with 16 in his final high school game.
Cody Leist can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 294, or on Twitter @CodyLeist.
Westfall 13 9 19 12 — 53
Portsmouth 16 21 19 19 — 75
Westfall — Staten 5-1-12, Wyman 1-4-6, Mink 4-3-13, Wagner 1-0-3, D. Anderson 7-0-16, Lawson 1-1-3, Totals 19-9-53.
Portsmouth — Oliver 5-0-11, Lisath 1-0-2, Allison 13-4-31, Dickerson 3-0-6, Reynolds 4-5-14, Purdy 0-2-2, Gibson 4-0-8, Delotell 0-1-1, Totals 30-12-75.
3-Point Goals — Westfall 6 (Mink 2, D. Anderson 2, Staten, Wagner); Portsmouth 3 (Oliver, Allison, Reynolds).
Records — Westfall 2-21; Portsmouth 17-4.