PORTSMOUTH — The Wheelersburg Pirates managed to hold off a comeback attempt inside Trojan Arena on Friday night — defeating host Portsmouth 64-55 in a non-league contest just before the New Year.
In the first half, the Pirates built their lead to as many as 16 points before taking a 35-20 lead into the halftime locker room.
The Trojans managed to cut the Pirate lead to as few as four points in the final minutes, but a ‘Burg road victory was clinched with late-game free throws.
“We just kept talking to our kids about keeping our composure and focusing on the things we could control,” ‘Burg coach Alex Prater said, after the game. “There was a few times where, give Portsmouth credit, they did a good job of pressuring us and getting us sped up. We were able to use dead balls and timeouts to settle our kids down, and to our kids’ credit, they were able to do that and hold on.”
Prater credited his team’s defense in the first half for their strong start.
Getting stops on the defensive end led to more scoring chances — both in transition and in the half-court.
“We were doing a really good job on the defensive end, not giving up second-chance shots which led to transition opportunities,” Prater said. “Kids did a good job of executing a few sets that we ran, and of course it always helps when some shots are going in.”
Wheelersburg was led in scoring by four seniors who reached double-figures in the road win.
Jackson Schwamburger led all scorers with his game-high 18 points on five field goals and seven-made free throws.
Nolan Wright added 14 points, including a game-high three three-pointers, and Caleb Arthur and Kaden Johnson each scored 10 points.
“Our seniors really led us again tonight. Helped keep our composure as a team, came up in some big moments for us,” Prater said. “When we needed to make a play, one of our seniors stepped up.”
Portsmouth was led in scoring by senior Kenny Sanderlin and junior Devon Lattimore, who each finished with 16 points.
Wheelersburg will host Valley on Friday night (Jan. 6) in a return to Southern Ohio Conference Division II play.
The Pirates’ SOC II home game against Northwest was postponed on Tuesday night.
The Trojans earned a 52-48 win at Rock Hill on Tuesday.
They’ll travel to Gallia Academy on Friday in Ohio Valley Conference play.
Wheelersburg 19 16 17 12 — 64
Portsmouth 11 9 20 15 — 55
Wheelersburg (6-2): Braylon Rucker 1 2-2 4, Connor Estep 1 1-4 3, Xander Mowery 0 0-0 0, Nolan Wright 4 3-4 14, Luke Swords 0 0-0 0, Jackson Schwamburger 5 7-11 18, Caleb Arthur 3 4-6 10, Kaden Johnson 5 0-4 10, Zavier Stanley 2 1-1 5; TOTALS: 21 18-32 64; Three-point field goals: 4 (Nolan Wright 3, Jackson Schwamburger 1)
Portsmouth (3-5): Donovan Breech 0 0-0 0, Norris McKinley 1 0-0 2, Tyler Duncan 2 0-0 6, Kenny Sanderlin 5 5-7 16, Devon Lattimore 6 4-9 16, Noah Livingston 0 0-0 0, Levaughn Cobb 1 3-3 5, Isaiah Lewis 0 0-0 0, DeAndre Berry 4 0-0 10; TOTALS: 19 12-19 55; Three-point field goals: 5 (DeAndre Berry and Tyler Duncan 2 apiece, Kenny Sanderlin 1)
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 370-0713 ext. 1930, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2023 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved