PORTSMOUTH — Points were at a premium Wednesday night and when the final horn sounded, the Portsmouth Trojans found themselves on the short end of a 36-31 outcome against the Ironton St. Joseph Flyers.
“We couldn’t get any momentum, when we did a few times, we missed a few easy buckets and I think it brought us right back down,” Trojans head coach Kristen Bradshaw said. “There were four or five missed layups and a few open threes that had fallen for us the last couple of games, if those fall it’s a different outcome.”
Despite struggling to score, Portsmouth (2-3, 1-1) kept St. Joe off the scoreboard for major portions of the game.
“We’ve been playing more pressure defense,” Bradshaw said. “We have a quick team, we need to use that to our advantage. We’ve been pressing the whole game even though we go only six players deep. They do get tired but I think our press being played a little bit tired is better than sitting back and playing zone.
“We have some really quick guards that can frustrate other players. They handled it pretty well. They didn’t have to much problem with our press but they missed some easy shots too and I think that’s because of our pressure.”
Despite the low score, Bradshaw said her team struggled at times on both ends of the floor.
“I told them in the locker room that there will be nights where their shots aren’t falling,” Bradshaw said. “You can’t have a below average shooting game and a below average defensive game, I think we did have both tonight.”
Offensively, Faythe Lee and Kylisha Kerns combined to score 19 of the Trojans’ 31 points. Lee finished with 11 while Kerns scored eight points.
“Fathye being a senior, she’s really stepped up this year,” Bradshaw said. “She’s just got to take the ball to the basket and that’s what I tell her. The last few years she’s been a role player and now she’s stepped up into a scoring role. She’s got to have double-figure points every night.
“Kylisha Kerns is a freshman and hasn’t been a real big scorer for us, she’s been more of a defender and rebounder. She’s got one of the best shots on the team. We have to get her the ball and she has to keep shooting.”
Semajah Parker only scored six points but Bradshaw believes she needs more opportunities to score in the post area.
“We’ve got to keep feeding Semajah the ball down low,” Bradshaw said. “She’s one of the strongest players in the conference as a post player. They guarded her pretty well but we missed a lot of opportunities to get the ball down low to her.”
Despite the 2-3 record, Bradshaw is thrilled with the progress of her team this season.
“Just the attitudes this year are so much better. We’re positive this year. That’s something I have been preaching for three years now. You can’t go out with a negative attitude and come out on top. That’s the thing I’m most excited about … ,” Bradshaw said.
St. Joseph 5 10 13 13 — 36
Portsmouth 8 6 11 8 — 31
Reach Chris Slone at 740-353-3101, ext 1930, or on Twitter @crslone.