PORTSMOUTH — On a cold and rainy night, fans flocked to Notre Dame high school, creating a hostile environment as two teams fed off their respective fan bases throughout the evening in an SOC I showdown. The Titans fought the Eagles throughout the game — leading the entire first half — before falling 57-54 Friday night.
“The effort was there,” Titans head coach Matt Mader said. “Our kids battled. We got down five, six, seven points there at different times but we kept talking during time outs and telling them to keep battling. We fought back a couple of different times and at the end, if we make one more shot and they miss one, we’re on the different end of it.
“That was a good basketball game by two good basketball teams.”
Notre Dame (10-3, 5-2) was led by Haitachai Buttayotee and Trevin Turner who scored 21 points a piece.
“Those guys have been our leading scorers all year,” Mader said. “They do a nice job in the two man game. They look for each other. Guys are starting to come together and realize what each other can do. We’re playing well. That’s a great basketball team that’s won a lot of games and it just came down to a couple of shots.”
Despite falling behind by seven in the second half, the Titans cut the led to three but couldn’t get the key stop and find the game-tying basket in the fourth quarter.
“I thought we finished well there in the fourth quarter, they just hit some big shots,” Mader said.
One problem for both teams was free-throw shooting. Eastern hit 10-of-23 while Notre Dame went 16-of-28 from the charity stipe.
“You definitely don’t want to shoot them that bad and you want to take advantage,” Mader said. “We shoot them well in spurts. We’ve got to get better at it. We’ve got to get in the gym and work at it. We’ve got a lot of basketball left.”
The Titans will hit the road Tuesday as they travel to East.
Eastern 4 18 15 20 — 57
Notre Dame 9 14 11 20 — 54
Eastern — Hale 3-2-8, Alley 1-0-2, Henon 4-0-8, ETHANLeist 5-4-16, CLAYMartin 6-4-21, Miller 1-0-2.
Notre Dame — Johnson 1-0-2, Turner 6-8-21, Mader 1-0-2, Bazler 0-1-1, HATTACHAIButtayotee 8-5-21, Sparks 2-2-7.
Three-point field goals — Eastern 7 (Leist 2, Martin 5); Notre Dame 2 (Turner, Sparks).
Records — Eastern N/A; Notre Dame 10-3 (5-2).
Reach Chris Slone at 740-353-3101, ext 1930, or on Twitter @crslone.