LUCASVILLE — In the first game of a doubleheader for girls sectional tournaments hosted by Valley High School saw 38 combined points from opposing players.
The Division Southeast Sectional Semifinal matchup was played between No. 10 Portsmouth and No. 7 West. The Senators (12-11) defeated the Trojans (7-16), 58-34, to advance to Saturday’s Championship against No. 2 Wheelersburg.
“It was a good win for our program tonight,” West coach Gregg Maynard said.
The Senators’ Tori Leader, who was the first girl in school history to reach 1,000 points and pull down 1,000 rebounds, finished with a game-high 23 points.
“She has been a tremendous asset to this program,” Maynard said. “She is an outstanding ball player.”
For the Trojans, Peighton Williams, who set a single-season scoring mark with 438 last in last Saturday’s regular season finale, finished with a team-high 15 points to pace Portsmouth.
“Peighton is a tremendous athlete,” Trojans coach Tyson Phillips said. “These girls couldn’t ask for a better teammate.”
Hannah Cremeans hit a 3-pointer to start the game for West and never looked back, leading the entire game.
The Senators took an early 7-2 lead before Jada Jenkins hit a 3-pointer for Portsmouth. On the following possession, the Trojans made another basket to pull within two at 9-7. It was the closest they would get for the remainder of the game as West outscored PHS every quarter of the game.
“We grabbed the lead early and hung onto it,” Maynard said.
Leader answered with a three-ball on the following possession, handing the Senators a 12-7 lead. It was the start to a 10-0 run giving them a 19-7 lead in the first quarter.
“Anytime you can get a 10-0 run in a game can set the pace and that helped us down the stretch,” Maynard said.
Hot shooting in the first quarter quickly cooled as both teams battled defensively in the second. The two teams combined for a total of 10 points as West eased into halftime leading 28-19.
Trailing by nine, Jenkins hit a deep ball for the Trojans to quickly cut the deficit to 29-22 to start the second half.
“Tyson is a great coach and I knew he would come storming back at us,” Maynard said.
However, the Senators made ten free throws in the quarter, giving them a 46-25 lead. Tara Conley was 4-of-4 from the stripe and Leader connected on 3-of-4 to pace West free throw line attack in the third quarter.
“We told our girls at halftime to start penetrating and that was the game plan and I knew that would be the difference maker in the game,” Maynard said.
The loss ends a great run for Portsmouth seniors Izzie and Maggie Sturgell, Tyler Mallory, Bria Webb and Dasia Kennedy.
“From where they started to where try are now I couldn’t be more proud,” Phillips said. “Thy got about 30 wins in the past three years combined and we will miss this senior class.”
West is set to tip off at approximately 4:30 p.m. at Valley High School this Saturday.
Portsmouth 15 4 6 9 — 34
West 22 6 18 11 — 58
Portsmouth — Mallory 1-2-4, Williams 4-6-15, Jenkins 3-0-8, Kennedy 3-1-7, Totals 11-9-34
West — Conley 4-5-13, Cremeans 2-4-9, Leader 8-6-23, Rideout 4-1-9, Journey 1-0-2, Whittaker 0-1-1, Oiler 1-0-2, Totals 20-17-58.
3-Point Goals — Portsmouth 3 (Jenkins 2, Williams); West 2 (Cremeans, Leader).
Records — Portsmouth 7-16; West 12-11.