PORTSMOUTH — Defensive adjustments, and the toughness of her players, is what Portsmouth girls basketball head coach Amy Hughes said led her team to a earning a 55-53 win over Meigs in a Division III sectional final on Saturday inside Trojan Arena.
It’s the program’s 10th sectional title in its history, but first since the 2004-05 season.
After trailing the Lady Marauders 27-25 at half and 37-32 at one point in the second half, the Lady Trojans dug deep and made the necessary plays to come away with the narrow win.
“Defensively we made some adjustments in the second half and we tried making it a little more difficult for them to score,” Hughes said. “They got off to a great start and they’re a great team. They’re not a No. 17 seed, well-coached with good players.”
On the game’s final possession with a two-point (55-53) lead, freshman Sienna Allen made a block on a game-winning shot attempt by Meigs’ Andrea Mahr to preserve the victory for her team.
Allen led all scorers with 27 points on 10 field goals and four-of-six foul shooting.
Eighteen of her 27 came in the second half as Portsmouth trimmed away at the deficit.
“It’s really exciting, the season has been so much fun,” Allen said. “I think we impressed people with how many games we’ve won and how far we’ve made it so far.”
Sophomore Daysha Reid scored 21 points, hitting a team-high four three pointers for the Lady Trojans.
“Playing as a team, playing defense and rebounding,” Reid said. “My teammate Sienna Allen stepped up big for us tonight. I’m proud of her — and we’re going to continue working to get ready for next week.”
“Our coaching on them in our practices are tougher on them than the games,” Hughes said. “In big games like that, they’re able to perform. If they can get through our practices, they can get through about anything. They’re pretty tough kids.”
Sophomore Savannah Cantrell added seven points for Portsmouth, all of which came in the first half.
Although they didn’t enter the scoring column, junior Emily Cheatham — and freshmen KK Mays and Katie Ankrom — gave Portsmouth valuable minutes in terms of rebounding and defense.
Cheatham, as a three-year starter for the program, described her excitement for their achievement as a team.
“It feels amazing,” Cheatham said. “We work every day on new plays, learned to work as a team. It feels so good to accomplish something for the program for the first time in 18 years.”
Portsmouth, as the No. 8 seed, advances to the Division III Southeast District No. 2 tournament — where they’ll face No. 5 seed Adena (18-5) in a district semifinal on Wednesday (Feb. 22) at Valley High School.
Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. and will begin roughly 20 minutes following the conclusion of Wednesday’s first district semifinal between Portsmouth West and Minford.
“They’re (Adena) really good, really well-coached. I like Andrew (Day) a lot he’s a really nice guy and good coach.”
Meigs 10 17 14 12 — 53
Portsmouth 15 10 15 15 — 55
Meigs: Delana Wright 1 0-0 2, Maggie Musser 2 1-2 5, Rylee Lisle 3 3-4 10, Jennifer Parker 5 0-0 14, Andrea Mahr 4 0-0 8, Keaghan Wolfe 5 3-3 14; TOTALS: 20 7-9 53; Three-point field goals: 6 (Jennifer Parker 4, Rylee Lisle and Keaghan Wolfe 1 apiece)
Portsmouth (18-5): Emily Cheatham 0 0-0 0, Sienna Allen 10 4-6 27, Daysha Reid 7 3-6 21, KK Mays 0 0-0 0, Katie Ankrom 0 0-0 0, Savannah Cantrell 3 0-2 7; TOTALS: 20 7-14 55; Three-point field goals: 8 (Daysha Reid 4, Sienna Allen 3, Savannah Cantrell 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