2nd half defense rallies Pointers over Portsmouth
ATHENS — When the South Point Pointers decided not to settle for 3-pointers, they were more than happy to settle for the win.
The Pointers were 2-of-15 from behind the arc in the first half and took just four long-range shots in the second half.
Along with a stingy defense, the Pointers erased a seven-point halftime deficit and beat the Portsmouth Trojans 59-42 in the Division III district semifinals at Ohio University’s Convocation Center on Sunday.
South Point coach Travis Wise said when the team returned to the game plan, everything fell into place.
“We came in at halftime and told them we have to pick up the defense and we have to quit settling for 3s. We were just settling the first half,” said Wise.
“We picked up the ‘D’ and got some easy buckets early on and then the defense held Kendall (Reynolds) from going off. We face-guarded him and frustrated him. Malone got a couple of open looks. To hold that team to 12 the whole second half, our kids did really well. And we controlled the boards.”
South Point held Portsmouth to 12 rebounds in the second half and just five on the offensive glass.
South Point (16-9) will play Fairland at 6 p.m. on Saturday in the district finals at the Convo.
Elijah Adams had 14 points, five rebounds, four steals and four assists to lead the Pointers. Logan Wade posted a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds and Tayshaun Fox had 10 points, five rebounds and five steals
“I think (Wade) was nervous the first half. We kind of got on him and told him in the locker room you have to go out and light a spark and he did,” said Wise.
Portsmouth (17-8) was just 5-of-17 from the field in the second half and 17-of-42 for the game. The Trojans made only 4-of-18 from behind the arc, all by Matt Malone who scored nine points.
Kendall Reynolds led Portsmouth with 13 points and eight rebounds..
Daniel Jordan added 10 points.
Portsmouth won both regular season meetings.
Malone hit three 3-pointers in the first quarter as Portsmouth jumped out to a 13-3 lead before South Point battled back to with 15-11 as Adams converted a three-point play and Cade Brandt had put-back with five seconds on the clock.
The Pointers went on an 8-0 run capped by Jared Whitt’s 3-pointer and
it was 21-17 with 5:16 left in the half.
But the Trojans answered with an 11-0 run to end the half and led 28-21 at the break.
South Point’s defense forced five straight turnovers to start the second half and tied the game at 28.
Reynolds followed up his own missed shot to give Portsmouth a 34-30 lead but a 3-pointer by Douglas Shaffer with under a minute to play in the quarter South Point the lad for good at 36-35.
Wade’s putback and a baseline shot by Adams at the buzzer stretched the lead to 40-35.
The defense held Portsmouth to 2-of-10 shooting in the fourth quarter and the Pointers were 6-of-8 from the field and converted 7-of-10 from the foul line.
“This being (South Point’s) first time here in a long time, the first half they had jitters. The energy they burned off too early. Getting that adrenaline going they were a little bit sluggish,” said Wise.
“We came out the second half and re-focused and the kids took over.
Tayshaun made some big free throws late in the game.”
South point finished the game shooting 21-of-54 from the field and 14-of-21 at the line.
South Point 11 10 19 19 = 59
Portsmouth 15 13 5 7 = 42
SOUTH POINT (16-9): Jared Whitt 1 1 0-1 5, Tayshaun Fox 3 0 4-6 10, Elijah Adams 6 0 2-3 14, Cody Runyon 0 0 0-0 0, Logan Wade 3 0 5-6 11, Douglas Shaffer 1 2 1-2 9, Cade Brandt 4 0 2-3 10, Caleb Eplion 0 0 0-0 0, Dustin McCarty 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 21-54 14-21 59. 3-point goals: 3-19. Rebounds: 13-O, 21-D = 34 (Wade 11, Adams 5, Fox 5). Team/deadball rebounds: 2. Assists: 9 (Adams 4). Steals: 10 (Fox 5, Adams 4). Turnovers: 7. Fouls: 15. Fouled out: Whitt (4th 2:46).
PORTSMOUTH (17-8): D.J. Eley 0 0 1-4 1, Daniel Jordan 5 0 0-0 10, Mike Malone 0 4 0-0 12, Kendall Reynolds 6 0 1-3 13, Reese Johnson 2 0 2-2 6, Gabe Gambill 0 0 0-0 0, Dakota Reynolds 0 0 0-0 0, Jahmir King 0 0 0-0 0, Ty Oliver 0 0 0-1 0, Matthew Fraulini 0 0 0-0 0, Austin Jones 0 0 0-0 0. Totals: 17-42 4-10 42. 3-point goals: 4-18. Rebounds: 9-O, 23-D = 32 (K. Reynolds 8, Gambill 5 Jordan 5). Team/deadball: 2. Assists: 6 (Ely 3, K. Reynolds 2). Steals: 3. Turnovers: 19. Fouls: 20. Fouled out: None.
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