PORTSMOUTH – Led by senior Hannah Hughes’ game-high 32 points, the Portsmouth Lady Trojans (2-0) earned a 44-22 win over the East Lady Tartans (0-2) to get their second win of the season in as many tries.
Hughes’ hot start to the 2019-20 season didn’t just start Monday, however. Rather, it was a continuation and improvement on her already excellent start to the year.
In the Trojans first win of the season Saturday over West Union in the Manchester Tip-Off Classic, Hughes finished with a game-high 24 as Portsmouth defeated the Dragons 43-37.
“Hannah was huge tonight for us,” Portsmouth coach Amy Hughes, Hannah’s aunt, said following the Trojans win. “When our shots weren’t falling, she did a great job of being able to get to the rim.”
“I thought we did a pretty good job the first half with our defense,” East coach Matt Miller said following the loss. “Especially since that’s the first time we used that defense in a game. I thought in the second half we didn’t move as well and they were able to find openings easier.”
When baskets were hard to come by for either side, Hughes’ ability to create stood out.
At the halftime break with a 21-11 lead, Hughes had a game high 17 points with just one made three.
Thanks to a strong defensive effort, Portsmouth limited the Lady Tartans to just four points in the second period.
A big factor in East’s total through the first half was the Lady Trojans ability to limit Miller’s group from working the ball inside by deflecting passes.
“We were really active on defense,” Hughes said. “We did a great job of deflecting passes, trying to prevent them from working the ball inside. Really proud of their effort, we’re playing with intensity which is great to see.”
“We have to take better care of the ball,” Miller said. “We had way too many turnovers and those result in lost chances. We rebounded well at times, but I think we can still do a way better job boxing out and getting to the ball more aggressively. And our conditioning needs to pick up. We’re in shape, but not in basketball shape just yet and we have to work harder at that.”
To begin the second half, Hughes followed her first half performance with a quarter-high 13 points in the third as the Trojans took a 37-13 lead into the fourth.
By game’s end after a final layup to put Portsmouth ahead of East by 21 in the early fourth, the senior Trojan finished with a game-high 32 points in her team’s 22-point home win.
Hughes’ effort was followed by Jaiden Rickett’s three points, Hailey Peterman’s three, Nia Trinadad’s two, Skylin Robinson’s two, and Keirston Reed’s two.
For East, they were led by Felicia Smith’s team-high eight points, Kacie Conley’s six, Shayla Rosenogle’s three, Betty Osborne’s two, Grace Smith’s two, and Sydnee O’Connor’s one.
East will take a week off from game action before hosting Ironton St. Joe next Monday, December 2nd.
“I thought we played really hard so I can’t be mad at their effort,” Miller said. “Just too many easy mistakes that we need to and will correct.”
Portsmouth will travel to South Point Monday, December 2nd in their opening game of OVC play.
“One of our focuses will be trying to find scoring in different areas,” Hughes said. “Our defense has been great to start the year. If we can keep that up, we’re confident the scoring will come along.”
East – 7 4 2 9 – 22
Portsmouth – 11 11 15 7 – 44
East: F. Smith 8, Conley 6, Rosenogle 3, Osborn 2, G. Smith 2, O’Connor 1
Portsmouth: Hughes 32 (4 3’s), Rickett 3, Peterman 3, Trinadad 2, Robinson 2, Reed 2
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2019 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved