Lady Trojans bounce Boyd



Portsmouth sophomore Sienna Allen (1) goes up for a basket during the Lady Trojans’ non-league season-opening girls basketball game against Boyd County (Ky.) on Tuesday night.

Ed Litteral | Daily Times

PORTSMOUTH — First, the city of Portsmouth pretty much packed the house at Trojan Arena on Tuesday night.

Then, the host and highly-touted Lady Trojans — in the season opener — brought the proverbial house against Boyd County.

The Lady Trojans trailed nary, and blitzkrieged Boyd County on both ends of the basketball court —capturing a key early-season 65-39 non-league victory in front of a full and loud Trojan Arena.

The contest indeed marked the season opener for both clubs, as the Lady Lions are ranked in the top-10 of their Kentucky district —while Portsmouth produced a Division III Southeast District runner-up effort last season, and are actually eyeing a Region 11 championship this campaign.

For the Lady Trojans, their faithful following, and sixth-year head coach Amy Hughes, Tuesday’s tilt from tipoff to final buzzer went about as well as it possibly could.

After all, observers expected not an Ohio High School Athletic Association running-clock rule coming into play, but it did come close.

The Lady Trojans’ largest lead stood at 27 points —65-38 with 30 seconds remaining, when sole senior Emily Cheatham made a steal, drive and basket.

Portsmouth plays at Boyd County near the end of the season, but Tuesday night’s opener was indeed all about what the Lady Trojans did.

Portsmouth did not graduate a single senior, and returns three (Ohio Prep Sports Writers Association) all-Southeast District Division III honorees —first-teamer and sophomore Sienna Allen, second-teamer and junior Daysha Reid, and Special Mention and junior Savannah Cantrell.

“That’s a really good Boyd County team, but I thought our girls really played well as a team tonight,” said Hughes. “The passing, the teamwork, they really look for each other. It was really phenomenal.”

The Lady Trojans shot the basketball well, too, especially as part of 16-8 first-quarter doubling up — and a 20-11 second-period positive output.

They scored the first five points, as Reid rained in a three-pointer a mere 23 seconds in —then drove for a bucket to make it 5-0 a mere 30 seconds later.

Taylor Bartrum, the daughter of former Marshall University football standout and NFL long snapper Mike Bartrum, bagged a basket for Boyd —but back-to-back three-balls by Allen in the corner and Reid off the wing made it 11-2 at the 4:38 mark.

The Lady Lions took a timeout, but they got no closer than 14-8.

Several Lady Trojan baskets were the result of steals and drives to the goal, as University of Pittsburgh commit Audrey Biggs —standing six-foot and one-inches tall — scored only seven points.

Hughes hailed her charges’ aggression, and approach, to defending and rebounding against the Lady Lions.

Starting out top with quick freshman guard Keke Woods, Portsmouth forced the Lady Lions into outside or poor shots, then corralled the basketball to set up the offensive onslaught.

“Our defense and rebounding is what won us this game, which are two things we coach the heck out of and focus so much energy on. You can’t have a off night defensively,” said Hughes. “You have an off night offensively, it doesn’t matter. Your defense is still there.”

Just 30 seconds into the second quarter, a Jasmine Jordan three-point play for Boyd brought the Lady Lions to within 18-11.

Over the next four full minutes and four seconds, though, the Lady Trojans tallied a dozen unanswered —including three-pointers by Allen and Reid, sandwiched around a long two-pointer by the six-foot and two-and-a-half-inches tall Cantrell.

Reid and Allen then scored back-to-back deuces to make it 30-11, as Portsmouth poked and pinned holes in the Boyd County zone defense —forcing the Lady Lions into chasing them in that half-court set.

Of Portsmouth’s seven trifectas, five were in the first half —as it doubled up Boyd County 20-10 in total field goals.

Allen amounted 19 of her game-high 27 —as she totaled 11 field goals and a perfect 3-of-3 free throws.

Reid went off for a first-half 13, then scored six more in the third including the squad’s sixth trey for her 19 —as Cantrell canned a three early in the fourth.

Portsmouth junior Daysha Reid (3) goes up for a basket as Boyd County’s Jasmine Jordan (11) defends during Tuesday night’s non-league season-opening girls basketball game at Portsmouth High School’s Trojan Arena.

Ed Litteral | Daily Times

“I think we’re a really good shooting team. It’s going to be tough to give us open looks, because we’re going to hit them,” said Hughes, with confidence. “We have kids who can shoot the ball. Nine kids who can shoot the ball.”

Woods wound up with a field goal in the second and third frames, and fellow freshman Hayven Carter chipped in four field goals for eight points —all in the final two quarters.

Portsmouth held three 19-point (30-11, 32-13 and 34-15) second-quarter leads, before opening up a 23-point (52-29) advantage with 90 seconds to go in the third.

The Lady Trojans then won the final canto 13-8, although the matchup never reached the 35-point OHSAA running-clock threshold.

The six-foot and three-inch Jordan, bound for the University of Rio Grande to play volleyball, paced the Lady Lions with 15 points on four field goals and 7-of-7 free throws.

But Portsmouth, probably to most likely, put teams on notice — before the calendar consequentially turned to December.

The Lady Trojans appeared to be having fun —in front of an electric Trojan Arena in fact.

“These girls have fun playing, they absolutely love being around each other, and it’s a lot of fun. And as you can see, the crowd makes a big difference. The city of Portsmouth came out to support us. They had our backs and it’s appreciated,” said Hughes. “I think we really played tonight.”

The Lady Trojans’ test on Monday night is a road game —and in the Ohio Valley Conference at Rock Hill.

“We’re going to keep working. Not going to stop working,” said Hughes. “We have things to work on, but they (Lady Trojans) play well as a team, they look for each other, and they have each other’s backs.”

* * *

Boyd County (Ky.) 8 11 12 8 —39

Portsmouth 16 20 16 13 —65

BOYD COUNTY 39 (0-1)

Jada Ray 2 0-0 5, Taylor Bartrum 3 0-2 6, Bella Opell 1 0-0 2, Jasmine Jordan 4 7-7 15, Audrey Biggs 1 4-4 7, Sophie Stevens 1 0-0 2, McKenzie Moore 0 0-0 0, Myla Hamilton 0 0-0 0, Baylee Stephens 0 0-0 0, Graci Gilbert 0 2-4 2, Aaliyah Ray 0 2-4 2, Taylor Culp 0 0-0 0; TOTALS 12 13-17 39; Three-point goals: 2 (Jada Ray and Audrey Biggs 1)


Emily Cheatham 1 0-0 2, Sienna Allen 11 3-3 27, Daysha Reid 7 1-2 19, Keke Woods 2 0-3 4, Hayven Carter 4 0-0 8, Bry Shannon 0 0-0 0, KK Mays 0 0-0 0, Katie Ankrom 0 0-0 0, Savannah Cantrell 2 0-0 5; TOTALS 27 4-8 65; Three-point goals: 7 (Daysha Reid 4, Sienna Allen 2, Savannah Cantrell 1)

Reach Paul Boggs at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1926, by email at [email protected], or on X @paulboggssports © 2023 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved

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