PORTSMOUTH – In the final game of the Buckeye Elite National Showcase, the Notre Dame Titans (4-0) put their stamp of winning culture on the event as it neared its’ end Saturday night with a win over host Portsmouth (1-4) 54-32.
Once the shots started falling for the Titans, there was little doubt they would be able to slow down on the offensive end of the court.
“We talked about setting the tone early defensively,” said Notre Dame head coach J.D. McKenzie following the Titans win on Saturday. “We ran some different things to start the game. Our full court defense, went to our 1-3-1 for a little bit. Got them turning the ball over. I was really impressed with our offensive execution versus the zone they were running. We were doing a good job hitting the short corner, and I thought we closed out the first half really well.”
That first half offensive execution McKenzie is referring to happened mainly in the second quarter when the Titans scored 25 of their 54 points, 10 of which came from Saint Francis signee Katie Dettwiller, as well as 6 came from sophomore Ava Hassel.
Hassel’s 12 point first half was summarized perfectly by the final seconds of the first half when she was poked in the eye accidentally, turned the ball over, regrouped, then proceeded to hit one of her three first half threes as time expired in the first half after quickly gathering her composure from the minor setback.
“I’ve actually seen her do that once before,” said McKenzie. “Get smacked in the face, and then hit a three at the buzzer. We shot the ball pretty well tonight, knocked down some threes, and we were able to execute pretty well offensively.”
The Trojans took a 43-14 halftime lead into the locker room, one in which they would maintain through the second half while also allowing some of their reserves to earn valuable varsity minutes.
The Titans were led in the scoring column by Dettwiller who scored 14, Hassel who scored 14, and Taylor Schmidt who scored 11.
As for the Amy Hughes led Portsmouth Trojans, they were led in scoring by senior guard Jasmine Eley who had a game high 15 points and Hannah Hughes who had 6 points for the Trojans. Portsmouth actually outscored Notre Dame in the second half 13-9.
“We haven’t got to see a lot of the SOC I teams play,” said McKenzie. “We’ve got some information on some of them. We look forward to a challenge every night. I think we’re improving every day in practice. Game wise, our execution is getting better, especially on the offensive end. We get that up to par with where we are defensively, I’m going to like where we’re at come the end of the season.”
Notre Dame: 18-25-9-2 – 54
Portsmouth: 4-10-5-13 – 32
Notre Dame: 17 FGs, 5 3pts (Hassel 3) 5/13 FTs. Scoring:K. Dettwiller 14, A. Hassel 14, Schmidt 11, Campbell 6, Hash 4, Cassidy 2, C. Dettwiller 2, Smith 1
Portsmouth: 12 FGs, 4 3pts. (Eley 3), 4/10 FTs. Scoring: Eley 15, Hughes 6, Rickett 4, Brown 4, Trinidad 3
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT