Unfortunately for the Lady Trojans, the top-seeded and top-ranked Oak Hill Lady Oaks were too much, ending Portsmouth's season with a 68-38 decision in a Division III Southeast Sectional Championship.
Coming in, we knew that it was going to be tough because they like to get out and pressure you,” Phillips said. “They jumped out on us – I think it was 5-0 – it was good to see, after calling a couple of quick timeouts, our girls kinda respond and stay in the game.”
The win advances Oak Hill to a district semifinal that will take place at noon Feb. 26 at Waverly High School. The Lady Oaks will take on fourth-seeded Crooksville, which defeated Bidwell River Valley 68-62.
Breanna Butler was one of three players in double-figures for Oak Hill. She led the Lady Oaks as well as all scorers with 18 points.
The win for Oak Hill did not come without its casualties. In the second quarter, Lakin Caudill left the game because of an undisclosed right leg injury and did not return.
“You never want to see a kid go down with an injury,” Phillips said. “...It's sad to see somebody get hurt.”
The loss completes the Lady Trojans' season at 7-15 for Phillips' first year as the head coach.
“The only thing I can say is that we competed,” Phillips said. “It's great to see the girls do that.”
The team will be without Hannah Foster and Lataysha McGinnis as they will be lost to graduation.
“Those two seniors and every girl on my roster are a part of my heart now,” Phillips said. “Even though I don't get to coach (the seniors) in another game, they're always going to be a part of my life and my family's life. It's just another step up the mountain, another hurdle we've got to climb, we're losing two great players and hopefully some of our younger kids can step in and fill the roles.”
McGinnis led Portsmouth with 16 points while Foster added five and Ri-Chiel McGraw added nine.
“That's one advantage we really thought we had on Oak Hill was with McGraw and McGinnis down low,” Phillips said. “I thought we did a good job of drawing a lot of fouls on them.”
CODY LEIST can be reached at email@example.com or by phone at (740) 353-3101 ext. 242.