COAL GROVE — Unfortunately for the Lady Trojans, their strong start didn’t equate to such a like finish.
That’s because visiting Portsmouth, playing at Coal Grove on Thursday night in the Ohio Valley Conference finale for the season, posted just a single fourth-quarter point —and suffered a 44-35 defeat to the back-to-back OVC champion Lady Hornets.
Portsmouth played right with the Lady Hornets through the opening three quarters, but only managed a Nia Trinadad free throw in the fourth and final period.
Coal Grove, conversely, scored 13 fourth-period points —including three-pointers apiece by Addi Dillow and Abbey Hicks and a pair of free throws from Dillow.
The Lady Trojans took a 34-31 advantage entering the fourth, but missed all 11 of their field-goal attempts in the stanza.
Portsmouth led 12-10 following the first frame, and only trailed 18-17 at halftime — despite a five-point second quarter in which Hannah Hughes had a field goal and a split of free throws and fellow senior Jaiden Rickett registered a basket.
But Hughes hit a huge third period, as she scored nine of the Lady Trojans’ 17 points in the canto, including her third three-pointer of the game and three deuces.
Hughes poured in a game-high 20 points, as her eight opening-period points included her other three-pointers.
Rickett rained in a third-quarter three for her only other points, while Trinadad tallied a first-quarter triple.
Skilyn Robinson, on a field goal and 2-of-5 free throws for four points, and Ashanti Richardson —on a third-quarter bucket —rounded out the Portsmouth scoring.
Dillow, who added three deuces to her five fourth-period points, and Kaleigh Murphy —on five field goals and a split of second-quarter free throws —paced the Lady Hornets with 11 points apiece.
Hicks hit 10 points on two twos and two threes, while Rylee Harmon had seven second-half markers on three field goals and a foul shot.
The Lady Trojans, which host St. Patrick of Kentucky on Saturday for the regular-season finale, wrapped up OVC competition at 3-11 —and are now 8-13.
Coal Grove is the outright OVC champion for the second consecutive season, as it ended the regular season at 13-1 and atop the league — part of 16-6 overall.
Portsmouth — the 24th-seeded squad in the Division III sectional tournament — plays ninth-seeded Alexander on Monday in a semifinal matchup.
Tipoff time for that bout is set for 5 p.m. at Jackson High School.
© 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved