ROCK HILL — The Lady Senators of West Portsmouth fell to South Point in a Division III Sectional Semifinal game Wednesday by a score of 42-37. West was plagued by 25 turnovers throughout the night, but still managed to battle back from an 11-point deficit to cut the score to four late in the fourth. The Pointers dug in late, though, ending the Senator’s season.
The first quarter was slow for both teams. Until just over two minutes left the score was two apiece, with both teams struggling to find any rhythm. Kayleigh Coleman hit a 3-pointer towards the end to give the Lady Senators a 7-4 advantage going into the second.
South Point came out pressing the rest of the game, which gave the West offense fits. The press allowed the Pointers to outscore West 25-11 in the next two quarters as Katie Mundy and Brooklyn Badgett cashed in on some easy buckets in the paint. Both players led the Pointers with 12.
The bright spot for the Senators was rebounding and their post play. Terra Butcher led all scorers on the night with 13, she also rebounded and blocked a couple of shots on the night. West battled back in the fourth as Kayleigh Coleman hit another 3-pointer to cut the lead seven. West was pressing at this point and it payed off, as they hit a couple lay ups off back-to-back turnovers. South Point managed to rally, however, advancing to the next round of the tournament to face off against the Wheelersburg Pirates. That game will be played Saturday at Rock Hill High School.
The Senators struggled throughout the year, in part to a young team and in part because of a loaded schedule full of tough nonconference games and a strong SOC conference. Head Coach Doug Williams promises his team will be better next year as they adjust to his coaching style.
“We cut down on our turnovers in the fourth because we had put ourselves in places where we were forcing turnovers instead,” said Williams.
Despite having 25 turnovers, the Senators had only three in the fourth.
“Instead of just setting up and going against their press, we were getting turnovers of our own,” Williams said. “We came back, and sometimes I wonder if it would be good to press at the start of a game. Probably not, though, because of our lack of depth. I thought we played harder at the end. But that’s been us all year, we find one quarter or stretch where we really play hard and we look good. We have to be able to continue that for four quarters.”
West loses two seniors: Hannah Richards and Haleigh Pollard.
“We lose the two seniors, but a significant amount of minutes are coming back next year,” Williams said. “All of our leading scorers will be back, including our point guard. I think Portsmouth West basketball is taking a step in the right direction despite our record this year. I think we ran a gauntlet this year. Our league is very good and our non-league schedule was loaded. We faced the winners of the SOC I in Notre Dame, we played North Adams and Fairland. We didn’t do ourselves any favors scheduling. We are young, and hopefully this kind of experience helps us next year.
“Next year we have to work on our ball handling. I think Butcher and Williams, while some of our best players, will have to work on their post moves and having their back to the basket. They are both very good athletes, and good bigs but they have to learn how to put themselves in good spots. We’ve learned, going into next season that we are going to play hard and practice every day. We butted heads at points this year, I was new and coming from the boys program and they were down from last year. They are going to go into next season knowing what to expect and being better prepared than this year.”
South Point 4 13 12 13 — 42
West 7 6 5 19 — 37
South Point: Mundy 12, Badgett 12, Perkey 8, Hannah 6, Kennis 2, Lawson 2
West: Butcher 13, Coleman 8, Williams 7, Bricker 5, White 4
Reach Derrick Parker at email@example.com or on twitter @DC__Parker