• 57°

Pointers fall to Trojans

Jim Walker



ATHENS — For three quarters, offense was gushing like a geyser. But in the fourth quarter, there was not scoring eruption.

In fact, South Point made just 1-of-13 field goal attempts in the fourth quarter and scored only four points as the Pointers lost 66-57 to the Portsmouth Trojans in the Division III district semifinals at Ohio University.

Portsmouth was 14-of-29 from the field in the first half including 7-of-17 from behind the 3-point line.

South Point was even better, hitting 15-of-26 shots from the floor and 8-of-14 from behind the arc.

The results? A39-39 tie.

“The first half, I’ve never seen them shoot that way and we were tied up 39-all and I’m thinking we’re in great shape,” said Pointers’ coach Chris Barnes

The game reminded Barnes of a game in December when the Pointers beat the Trojans 76-58, and it looked like the second half was going to be a repeat as well.

That is until leading rebounder Eli Ketron picked up his fourth foul in the third quarter. Barnes said it was the turning point.

“This was exactly what we did to them at our place when we started to put them away. We came out (the second half) and got hot on them and they were running through the screens wrong. Brandon (Barnes) got hot and was just going off,” said coach Barnes.

“Then Eli got his fourth foul and that hurt us. It changed everything I did the rest of the game offensively and defensively. That turned the tempo of the game.”

Brandon Barnes hit three 3-pointers in the third quarter including one at the buzzer that put the Pointers ahead 53-49.

Then the fourth quarter drought hit and there was not way to drill for any scorers as the Pointers went cold.

“The last two months, defense is what’s won it. When we got in foul trouble, they were able to go small and let them dictate more who we had to guard rather than the other way around,” said coach Barnes.

“We needed some offense and the well went dry. We needed some help and we just didn’t have it.”

In the fourth quarter, Ky’re Allison and Sky Oliver scored to put get the Trojans even at 53. Brandon Barnes hit two foul shots with 5:21 on the clock and the Pointers led 55-53.

Isaiah Lisath hit 3-poitner but Marquise Foley had a putback to give the Pointers a 57-56 lead with 4:53 to play.

It was their last points and lead of the game.

Allison’s layup with 4:31 left put the Trojans up for good as they finished the game with a 10-0 run.

Brandon Barnes scored 20 points to lead the Pointers (15-8). Audric Harlow scored 14 points – all in the first half including four 3-pointers. Foley came off the bench to score 15 points and pulled down 10 rebounds. Ketron had five rebounds.

Oliver scored 22 points and Allison 20 to lead the Trojans (20-4). Lisath added 12 points while Alex Dickerson and Kendal Reynolds had eight rebounds each.

“I can’t fault our guys. They’ve been there all year for us. They’ve given a great effort and played great defense. They were picked fourth in the league and won it. They’re a great bunch to coach,” said coach Barnes.

Portsmouth will play Lucasville Valley at 4 p.m. Sunday in the district finals. Valley held on to beat Coal Grove 66-65 in the first game.

Portsmouth 20 19 10 17 = 66

South Point 16 23 14 4 = 57

PORTSMOUTH (20-4): Sky Oliver 5 3 3-4 22, Isaiah Lisath 1 3 1-1 12, Ky’re Allison 7 1 3-5 20, Alex Dickerson 1 1 1-2 6, Hunter Gibson 0 0 0-0 0, Alex Grashel 0 0 0-0 0, Kendal Reynolds 1 1 1-2 6. Totals: 24-51 9-14 66. 3-point goals: 9-24. Rebounds: 12-O, 20-D = 32 (Dickerson 8, Reynolds 8, Allison 6). Team/deadball rebounds: 1. Assists: 7 (Allison 5). Steals: 5 (Allison 2). Turnovers: 9. Fouls: 7. Fouled out: None.

SOUTH POINT (15-8): John Johnson 0 2 0-0 6, Audric Harlow 1 4 0-0 14, Brandon Barnes 3 4 2-2 20, Eli Ketron 0 0 0-0 0, Brandon Boggs 1 0 0-0 2, Brady Rickard 0 0 0-0 0, Marquise Foley 4 2 1-2 15. Totals: 21-53 3-4 57. 3-point goals: 12-26. Rebounds: 13-O, 16-D = 29 (Foley 10, Ketron 5, Barnes 4). Assists: 7 (Johnson 5). Steals: 2 (Boggs, Barnes). Turnovers: 11. Fouls: 13. Fouled out: None.