“We had some great guard play at the end,” Shoemaker said. “Corey Reeves hit a great shot to get us into overtime and then our guards did a great job of pounding the ball down low and Forrest Johnson did a tremendous job of scoring throughout the game.”
The Falcons were kept in the game with balanced scoring and tough rebounding. Despite being shorter inside than Portsmouth, Minford finished the night with a nine-rebound advantage.
Price, who made four 3s in the loss, led Minford with 20 points. He was followed closely by Sean Smith who scored 18.
The Falcons gained momentum when Trent Reynolds scored four straight points with 2:36 remaining to take the lead 49-48. Reynolds scored 12 points with four rebounds. Gary Spradlin had 11 points and eight rebounds for Minford and Aaron Prater scored four with nine boards. Hugh Brisker had seven points and 11 rebounds.
“We look to (have balanced scoring) every game,” Minford coach Kyle Copley said. “We don't have anybody that we really rely on in terms of scoring. We try to get some balance and get people the ball. If they get the open shots we encourage all of our kids to take those shots. We did that tonight but we couldn't finish.”
The loss in the home opener drops Minford to 0-2 after falling to Jackson in its first game.
“Being 0-2 with the schedule that we play, we really test our kids,” said Copley. “Our non-conference and conference schedule are not a joke. It's one of those situations where we have to keep getting better everyday in practice.”
Although it was a close game, Shoemaker was pleased to start the year with a win.
“It's nice (to win) but there's a lot of areas where we can get better in practice,” he said. “The kids played hard and they played through it. We just need to get on the court a little bit more and learn how to play some defense.”
Both teams play next on Friday. Portsmouth travels to Northwest while the Falcons play host to Wheelersburg.
JOHN STEGEMAN can be reached at email@example.com
Portsmouth 23 13 14 17 12 - 79
Minford 11 23 18 15 5 - 72
Portsmouth - Johnson 7 2 18, Reeves 3 3 11, Stevens 1 4 6, Bendolph 2 1 5, Williams 13 4 31, Cadogan 3 0 6, Link 1 0 2. Totals 31 14 79.
Minford - Price 6 4 20, Smith 7 4 18, Reynolds 6 0 12, Spradlin 3 5 11, Brisker 3 1 7, Prater 1 2 4. Totals 25 16 72.
3-pointers - Portsmouth 4 (Johnson 2, Reeves, Williams) ; Minford 6 (Price 4, Smith 2)
Records - Portsmouth 1-0; Minford 0-2