PORTSMOUTH – The Portsmouth Trojans were defeated by the Ironton Tigers Tuesday night by a score of 73-63. Despite being down by seven points at the half, the Tigers exploded for 31 points in the third quarter and fended off all attempts at a Trojan come back.
The game started well for Portsmouth, as they forced 12 Ironton turnovers in the first half. Kendal Reynolds was huge early, finding holes in Ironton’s zone defense and putting up 18 of his 20 points in the first two quarters. Ironton did play tough defense much of the night, though, limiting Kyrie Allison to just five points early. DJ Eley would hit a three pointer at the buzzer to give Portsmouth a 29-22 lead at the half.
The Tigers came into the third ready to run. They cleaned up their offensive mistakes and flashed up and down the court. Marques Davis was on fire in the second half. He hit seven three point buckets on the night and scored 23 of his 29 points in the final quarters. Allison came alive in the third as well, scoring three straight bombs from deep for Portsmouth. However, Ironton would finish out the third quarter on an 11-0 run, outscoring the Trojans 31-15 and pushing their lead out to 53-44 going into the fourth.
The Trojans tried to battle back the entire fourth period. At one point, Allison hit a three pointer to cut the lead to just four points with 1:20 left in the game. Reynolds would foul out, though, and Ironton would hit their free throws when it mattered. When the dust settled, Ironton came out finishing the game on a 6-0 run for a final score of 73-63. The loss pushes Portsmouth back in the standings for the OVC league title.
“It was a tale of two halves,” admitted Portsmouth Head Coach Gene Collins. “We played pretty well the first half and the second half Ironton played really well. Reynolds got us off to a good start early. He got us going by hitting shots in the zone because they were defending Kyrie so well. Unfortunately for us he fouled out and that really hurt us. But what really hurt us tonight was Marques Davis. He was on fire in the second half. It was no accident. I watched him last night and he was on fire then, too. The thing about a team like Ironton is they have guys hurt, so they decided to play a small lineup. It just really worked in their benefit tonight.”
“We have to shift gears now. We were still battling for the league title. Losing tonight puts us three games behind, we know that now, so we have to get ready for the home stretch. We have to handle these next six games and get ready for tournament time. Tonight, Allison shot the ball pretty well. He had the deep ball working and he managed to give us hope at the end. We just have to be a supporting cast for him in the games to come.”
Portsmouth travels to Fairland on Friday to face off against the Dragons. Tipoff is at 7:30. Ironton hosts Chesapeake Friday, game time is also at 7:30.
Box Score 1 2 3 4 F
Ironton 10 12 31 20 73
Portsmouth 17 12 15 19 63
Ironton: M. Davis 29, Carey 17, Wilson 8, Klaiber 6, Young 5, K. Davis 4, Glover 4
Portsmouth: Alison 25, Reynolds 20, Johnson 6, Eley 6, Malone 2, Lucas 2, Leonard 2
Reach Derrick Parker at email@example.com or on twitter @DC__Parker