The Portsmouth Trojans had an unexpected victory against the Waterford Wildcats Saturday night.
The two teams stayed pretty neck and neck in the first period, both in the double digits early in the second quarter. The the Wildcats got warmed up, and the Trojans cooled off.
Wildcat Tyler McCutteon played hard and ensured a challenging ball game. Meanwhile, Portsmouth had several sloppy passes and far too many turnovers. By halftime, Waterford was leading 32-21. The Trojans were not out of the game, but needed to close in on the Wildcats in order to stay in the game.
Coming back from the half, the Trojans played a whole new ball game. They were defensive forces, holding the Wildcats at just four points throughout the entire quarter. They direction and were committed to going after the ball. With three minutes left in the clock, Portsmouth had tied Waterford 32-32.
Waterford Bryce Hilverding made sure his Wildcats stayed in the game. The four points earned by the Wildcats were enough to keep Waterford four points ahead at the end of the third.
Trojan Mike Malone responded in the start of the fourth, bringing Portsmouth close again with a three point goal, but Waterford was close enough to victory to taste it. They were determined to close the night with a win. For every good drive the Trojans had, Waterford would sling the ball down the court for a basket. Still, the Trojans kept driving the ball down the court. Trojan Reese Johnson stepped out and showed that he was not afraid to take the ball to the net. Portsmouth was shooting for three in nearly every shot just to try to get that lead. The Trojan finally closed in on the Wildcats, taking the lead 47-44 and winning the game.
“It was a tale of two halves,” said Portsmouth Coach Eugene Collins. “Our goal was to try to get a 3-4 point lead by the end of the third quarter. Daniel Jordan and Ty Oliver’s defensive pressure helped us to win this one.”
Portsmouth came into the season a bit later than many area teams, but they have started the season out strong. The Trojans will play their first league game Friday night at Coal Grove.
Collins plans to address several offensive and defensive issues the Trojans had before their next game.
“Offensively, I think we struggled to score tonight. I think Waterford had a lot to do with that. They are a very physical team and cut our lanes off,” Collins commented.
The coach added that it was difficulty he has not really seen from his team.
“We had a lot of good looks that just didn’t go down from guys that make shots,” said Collins.
Reach Nikki Blankenship at 740-353-3101 ext. 1924.
Waterford 14 32 38 44
Portsmouth 10 21 32 47
Waterford: McCutteon-4, Welch-12, Hilverding-8, Thieman-11, Pottmyer-9
Portsmouth: Eley-4, Jordan-5, D. Reynolds-8, Mahne-6, K. Reynolds-14, Johnson-7, Gambill-3