PORTSMOUTH – With a near capacity crowd, and representatives from the Marshall Thundering Herd men’s basketball team on hand, Portsmouth’s Kyre Allison put on a show as he helped lead the Trojans to a 10-point victory over the Chesapeake Panthers Tuesday night at the PHS gymnasium.
Allison led the Trojans offensively Tuesday night, scoring 29 points, as the home team defeated the visiting Panthers, 72-62. His performance against the Panthers showed the senior guard’s ability to not only drive in for a layup, but also take a quick shot when it was available.
“Kyre was phenomenal,” Portsmouth coach Gene Collins said. “He’s the best player in the state, this side of Columbus, and he showed it tonight. He’s unselfish with shots and the other kids love to play with him.”
The Trojans had another player reach the 20 point mark Tuesday night, as Kendall Reynolds added 20 to help the Trojan cause.
Reynolds had a good shooting night, picking up a pair of 3-pointers, and going a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line.
“I have got to give our kids credit,” Collins said. “We came up with a game plan. We knew we had to control Meadows, and we had to stop Rhoades.”
Collins and the Trojans made a plan to put a chaser on Rhoades, which limited his scoring in the first quarter.
“We got out to a quick comfortable lead,” Collins said. “They made a run, and we were able to bend, but not break.”
The Panthers made several runs on the Trojans’ lead, but would never lead Portsmouth after the early minutes of the first quarter, when they held a brief 8-7 lead.
The Trojans continued to control the game in the first half, creating a 14-point lead in the first part of the second quarter.
Chesapeake had trouble responding to the Portsmouth defense. Several miscues in the second quarter led to back-to-back turnovers for the Panthers, and a furthering of the Portsmouth lead.
The duo of Allison and Reynolds wreaked havoc on the Panthers throughout the game. One particular Panther morale killer came just before halftime, when Reynolds hit a beautiful layup on Chesapeake that was immediately followed up by an Allison 3-pointer, after causing a Panther turnover.
The third quarter started off all Trojans. Allison hit a three in the first minute of the period, as Portsmouth began a 6-0 run on Chesapeake.
Portsmouth’s lead increased to 18 points, 45-27, at one point in the third quarter. That lead would be cut in half by the Panthers, when the game spilled over into the fourth quarter, as Chesapeake made another attempt to erase the Trojan lead.
Despite having their best scoring quarter in the fourth, Chesapeake simply couldn’t overcome Portsmouth’s lead, and fell to the Trojans, 72-62, as the final buzzer was heard.
“It’s a lot easier to play with a lead,” Collins said. “We got such a big lead, that when they made a run, we were able to regather ourselves and stretch that lead back out to hold on to win at the end.”
The Trojans didn’t want to get in any foul trouble with a larger Chesapeake team, and gave up some shots to the Panthers.
“We were really worried about fouling, so we were willing to give up some shots,” Collins said. “Fortunately, they didn’t make shots early in the game, and so it makes the gameplan look really good when they’re not making shots.”
Since Chesapeake had issues hitting what shots were available to them, Portsmouth was able to crowd Meadows, and keep Rhoades from causing any major issues for the Trojans.
Collins was happy with his team scoring 72 points Tuesday night.
“It was great,” Collins said. “You know, coming off of some tough losses early on to start the second half of the season, and having a great Chesapeake team coming in, it gets us back in contention in the league.”
Collins will have his squad ready for their next game Friday night, as they host the Fairland Dragons. Tipoff is set for around 7:30 p.m.
Portsmouth – Allison 12-2-29, Reynolds 7-4-20, Leonard 3-0-9, Eley 2-0-6, Johnson 2-0-4, Riodbell 1-0-3, Lucas 0-1-1
Chesapeake – Stevens 6-0-17, Rhoades 6-2-17, Meadows 4-2-10, McComas 3-1-8, Webb 2-0-5, Stephens 2-0-4
Three-point field goals – Portsmouth 11 (Leonard 3, Allison 3, Eley 2, Reynolds 2, Rodbell) Chesapeake 8 (Stevens 5, McComas, Webb, Rhoades)
Reach Michael Hamilton at 740-353-3101, ext 1931, or on Twitter @MikeHamilton82.