PORTSMOUTH— A strong defensive effort could not overcome a poor offensive shooting performance for the Portsmouth Trojans, dropping their first game in the SEOAL to the Warren Warriors.
The Trojans (2-3, 1-1) shot 27 percent overall from the field and were held 10 points or less in each quarter, as the Warriors (4-0, 2-0) won 45-31.
“I thought the effort was great defensively, holding Warren under 50 points was good for us,” Portsmouth coach Eugene Collins said.
The Warriors started the game forcing two turnovers and put five straight points on the board before Portsmouth’s Jayllen Carter made a jump shot giving the Trojans their first basket.
However, Warren’s Reese Patton answered with a 3-pointer in the corner, giving the Warriors a 10-3 advantage midway through the quarter.
Carter, who finished with 16 points and was accountable for 51 percent of the Trojans offense, did his best to keep Portsmouth close. He scored seven of his 16 points in the first quarter keeping them within four after the first quarter.
“Carter is primarily our main scorer,” Collins said.
The Warriors continued to extend their lead throughout the second quarter as the Trojans continued their cold shooting, going 4-of-13 in the second quarter. Warren’s Dylan Leffingwell, who finished with six points and four rebounds, finished an and-1 play that extended their lead to 19-12 midway in the quarter.
“Offensively we couldn’t make shots, couldn’t get into things we wanted to do and that was basically the bottom line of the game,” Collins said.
After Ky’re Allison of Portsmouth and Evan French of Warren exchanged layups, Carter hit a 3-pointer from the corner cutting the lead to 21-19 with 12 seconds remaining in the half.
The Trojans entered halftime trailing 23-19, despite shooting only 33 percent in the half and having turned the ball over five times.
“We were just not able to string shots together and we were just never able to recover,” Collins said.
French, who finished the first half with only four points, was the difference maker in the second half for the Warriors. French helped the Warriors extend their lead to 12 by scoring 10 of their 12 points in the quarter, giving Warren a 35-25 lead entering the fourth quarter.
French continued in the fourth, scoring six more points. It helped the Warriors jump out to their largest lead of the game of 40-27 midway through the fourth quarter.
Carter scored four points in the quarter for the Trojans, however, four turnovers killed any momentum of a comeback as Portsmouth wasn’t able to cut the lead under 10 in the final frame.
“Our young kids scrap and play hard,” Collins said.
Portsmouth is in the middle of their second weekend of back-to-back games, and they will travel to Boyd County High in Ashland, KY tomorrow night to take on Paintsville (Ky.) Johnson Central.
Warren 14 9 12 10 45
Portsmouth 10 9 6 6 31
Warren — Pannell 1-0-3, Hall 3-1-7, French 8-3-20, Patton 4-1-9, Leffingwell, 2-2-6
Portsmouth —Allison 3-0-6, Porter 2-0-4, Carter 5-4-16, Dickerson 0-1-1, Lisath 2-0-5
3-Point Goals — Warren 2_ Pannel (1) French (1); Portsmouth 2_ Lisath (1) Carter (1).
Records — Warren 4-0 (2-0); Portsmouth 2-3 (1-1).