Fans that overcame the snow and ice to make the trip to Portsmouth saw the Lady Trojans hang around for the entire first half only to have Wheelersburg pull away in the second for the victory.
The Lady Pirates exploded in the second half and ran away with a 59-28 win over Portsmouth Wednesday night.
“Give the Portsmouth kids a lot of kids of credit,” said Wheelersburg coach Dusty Spradlin. “I think they outplayed us, they out-hustled us, the beat us on the glass. We challenged our kids at halftime. We spread the floor, got some turnovers and got some easy baskets. Once we got going in the third quarter, the girls started to play and relax a little bit.”
Leading the way for the Lady Pirates was Lainee Clay with 15 points. Clay also corralled six rebounds.
“Coach really got us up at halftime,” said Clay. “We came together more as a team, played full court and got some momentum going. Things just started to fall for everyone.”
Jessica Blanton and Brooke Baker both checked in with eight points in the winning effort.
Brittany Warner added six points, nine boards, three assists and a steal to the Lady Pirate cause.
The Lady Trojans' leading scorer was Janae LaGrange with seven points. Taylor McGinnis had four points and pulled down 10 rebounds.
The Lady Pirates' explosion started as soon as the second half started. Just 1:03 into the quarter, the halftime lead of five had doubled itself to 10. Then only 30 seconds later, the lead had ballooned to 15.
The Lady Pirates put together a 10-0 run to open the second half and built a 15 -point lead in a span of 1:52. A LaGrange free throw ended the run, but only gave way to another. Wheelersburg put together another run that spanned more than four minutes and turned a 12-point lead into a 22-point lead. The lead stood at 21 at the end of the period 37-16.
The Lady Pirates were dominant in the third quarter. They outscored Portsmouth 22-6, had a rebounding edge of 15-7 and forced nine turnovers, while only giving up the ball twice.
The Lady Pirates engineered a 9-0 spurt at the beginning of the fourth quarter to put the finishing touches on a second half that they controlled in every facet.
The Lady Trojans hung tough for the first 16 minutes and made a game out of it. Wheelersburg only had a one-point lead through one period and held only a five-point edge at the break, but in the second half it was all Lady Pirates.
“We played some defense on them (in the first half),” said Portsmouth head coach Jeff Nickel. “We did a real good job rebounding the ball. In the second half, we quit rebounding. They got a couple of putbacks and a couple of three-point plays and that's pretty much how the game went.”
The Lady Trojans play host to South Webster on Saturday and the Lady Pirates travel to West tonight.
Wheelersburg 7 8 22 22 - 59
Portsmouth 6 4 6 12 - 28
Wheelersburg - Schmidt 2 0 4, Ross 3 0 6, Lang 10 3, Knapp 1 0 2, Blanton 3 2 8, Warner 3 0 6, Barrick 1 0 2, Staker 1 1 4, Clay 6 315, Baker 4 0 8, Jones 0 1 1; Totals 25 7 59.
Portsmouth - Link 3 0 6, LaGrange 2 3 7, Colley 1 2 5, McGinnis 2 0 4, Taylor 3 0 6; Totals 10 5 28.
3-pointers - Wheelersburg 2, Lang, Staker; Portsmouth 1, Colley
Records - Wheelersburg 5-0, (3-0); Portsmouth 1-3.