MANCHESTER — The Portsmouth West Lady Senators showcased their defensive capabilities at the Manchester Tip-Off Classic on Saturday.
With early and constant pressure, the Lady Senators forced 28 Peebles turnovers in their 59-41 win over the Lady Indians, and did so somewhat short-handed.
West outscored Peebles in each of the quarters except the third, and never trailed by less than double-digits after the first quarter.
Jumping out to a 39-16 halftime lead by forcing 18 Lady Indian first-half turnovers was exactly the type of start third-year coach Megan Artrip hoped to see as her unit capitalized on the Indians’ mistakes.
“A majority of our focus this year has been on defense and outlasting teams mentally, and we did that. We had them so out of their offense in the first half based on our pressure,” Artrip said. “With the pressure came turnovers and with that came points.”
West (1-0) put three scorers in double figures in the 18-point victory, led by junior Maelynn Howell’s team-high 14.
Abby Adkins and Emma Sayre combined for 24 points (13 for Adkins, 11 for Sayre), joining Howell in double figures, while Sydney McDermott and Eden Cline scored eight and seven respectively.
“We passed the ball around so well, and they’re not selfish kids at all. We have a team that no one girl needs the ball in her hands, and that’s lethal,” Artrip said of West’s offense. “At any night it can be any number of eight to 10 kids that can lead us in scoring.”
Despite going without a field goal in the third quarter, West never allowed Peebles to get within 12 points during the second half.
And, the Lady Senators got their win short-handed over a program which went to the Division IV regional finals a season ago.
West was without junior Charlie Jo Howard and senior Keima Bennett, but still managed to take care of business in their season-opening win in impressive fashion.
Their win over Peebles makes this the second straight season that the Lady Senators have opened their season with a victory.
“More than anything, it improves the girls’ confidence. And they have to think in the back of their heads what it will look like when we get those girls back,” Artrip said. “I’m really excited to have this group fully together.”
West will travel to Huntington on Wednesday (Nov. 24) for a non-league contest.
The Lady Senators will open SOC II play on the road next Monday (Nov. 29) at Eastern.
“We’ve talked about one practice, one game at a time and keep working on the things that we need to do to get better,” Artrip said. “When you can force 28 turnovers with a team like that, that’s something we’ve been working to perfect.”
Peebles 7 9 10 15 — 41
Portsmouth West 20 19 2 18 — 59
Peebles (0-1) 41
Natalie Workman 0 0-0 0, Marissa Moore 1 0-0 2, Emmi Nichols 0 1-2 1, Mack Hamilton 0 0-0 0, Kenzie Morrison 7 3-4 18, Lily McFarland 0 0-0 0, Summer Bird 0 0-0 0, Gracey Rowland 0 0-0 0, Peyton Johnson 6 5-5 20, Cadence Carroll 0 0-0 0; TOTALS: 14 9-12 41; Three-point field goals: 4 (Peyton Johnson 3, Kenzie Morrison 1)
Portsmouth West (1-0) 59
Maelynn Howell 5 4-5 14, Elisha Andre 0 2-2 2, Abby Adkins 5 1-2 13, Eden Cline 2 2-2 7, Sydney McDermott 4 0-0 8, Kate Rollins 0 0-0 0, Emma Sayre 4 1-1 11, Lexi Deaver 1 2-2 4, Natalie Mershon 0 0-0 0; TOTALS: 21 12-14 59; Three-point field goals: 5 (Abby Adkins and Emma Sayre 2 apiece, Eden Cline 1)
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 370-0713 ext. 1930, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved