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Paul Boggs: Titans take out Lady Trojans

Mar. 19—Previous

Portsmouth freshman Keke Woods (4)

Courtesy of Randy and Joann Waugh

The 2023-24 Portsmouth Lady Trojans at the Division III girls basketball state tournament on Thursday night.

Courtesy of Randy and Joann Waugh

Portsmouth junior Daysha Reid (3)

Courtesy of Randy and Joann Waugh

Portsmouth sophomore Sienna Allen (1)

Courtesy of Randy and Joann Waugh

Portsmouth sophomore KK Mays (20)

Courtesy of Randy and Joann Waugh

Portsmouth freshman Keke Woods (4)

Courtesy of Randy and Joann Waugh

The 2023-24 Portsmouth Lady Trojans at the Division III girls basketball state tournament on Thursday night.

Courtesy of Randy and Joann Waugh

Portsmouth junior Daysha Reid (3)

Courtesy of Randy and Joann Waugh

Portsmouth sophomore Sienna Allen (1)

Courtesy of Randy and Joann Waugh

Portsmouth sophomore KK Mays (20)

Courtesy of Randy and Joann Waugh

Portsmouth freshman Keke Woods (4)

Courtesy of Randy and Joann Waugh

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The 2023-24 Portsmouth Lady Trojans at the Division III girls basketball state tournament on Thursday night.

Courtesy of Randy and Joann Waugh

DAYTON — Unfortunately for the Portsmouth Lady Trojans, their first appearance in the girls basketball state tournament — in more ways than one and in seemingly one fell swoop —was short-lived.

That's because, if you ask Amy Hughes about what happened on Thursday night in University of Dayton Arena, it's that her Lady Trojans' plans were short-circuited from the get-go.

Hindered by a pair of four-point periods in the middle two quarters, and extremely beset by a 20-9 foul disadvantage, the Lady Trojans trailed for the overwhelming majority —and fell 47-40 against Ottawa-Glandorf in the second of two Division III state semifinals.

For starters, literally, freshmen Hayven Carter and Keke Woods were both tagged for four first-half fouls apiece.

That's correct — an unheard of not one but two players picking up not three, but indeed four first-half fouls.

That made up eight of the Lady Trojans' 10 in the opening half, as the Lady Titans tallied only four total.

Those numbers doubled by the end of the game —officially 20 for Portsmouth and only nine for Ottawa-Glandorf.

Carter and Woods both fouled out as the Lady Trojans tried desperately to make a comeback —getting as close as 37-32 with two minutes and 49 seconds remaining, on a pair of Woods free throws.

Portsmouth freshman Keke Woods (4)

Courtesy of Randy and Joann Waugh

But with Carter already fouled out, and eventually with Woods gone and sophomore standout Sienna Allen already at four fouls, the Lady Trojans never got closer the remainder of the way.

Ottawa-Glandorf — which raised its record to 26-2 — gained the lead for the final three cantos, and the final minute and 49 seconds of the opening period.

The Lady Trojans twice held the lead —at 2-0 and 9-8 —but for only a mere 36 total seconds.

No doubt, it was a short stay in Dayton for the Lady Trojans and sole senior Emily Cheatham, which ended their championship-filled and strong season at 22-6.

"The girls have put in a lot of hard work, and the community has really supported them. I think the entire town was here tonight. The girls have worked really hard and have really earned all they have brought to the community," said Hughes, who concluded her sixth season as PHS head coach. "They've earned all the support they've received this season."

But, of course, Portsmouth preferred to be on the winning side —and playing in the Division III state championship tilt against Columbus Africentric.

Instead, Hughes' postgame press conference comments were short and succinct, part of a short presser which lasted a mere four minutes and five seconds.

At the time, and at the podium, Hughes had not the official statistics in front of her —so she kept referencing "22" and "8".

But 22 or 20 against Portsmouth, and only eight or nine against Ottawa-Glandorf, those numbers didn't lie.

And Hughes didn't mince words in the least.

"Despite the 22-8 foul situation, my girls battled, battled, battled. I thought this was the state tournament, and that these (officials) were the best around. But 22-8....in the state tournament," harped Hughes. "We were not allowed to move. We were not allowed to play defense. It was 22-8 in fouls."

That's all Hughes had to say, as she was asked point blank about her Lady Trojans' offensive struggles —or what the Lady Titans did defensively so well.

Portsmouth shot just 31-percent on 15-of-48, made only six of 22 three-point attempts (27-percent), and forced to foul a lot late, were just 4-of-4 at the foul line —compared to 12-of-19 for O-G.

In fact, in addition to Woods with 2:49 remaining, the only other Lady Trojan trip to the stripe was in the opening 33 seconds —by Allen who made both for the 2-0 lead.

PHS only made four steals, and were outrebounded by a hefty 39-23.

No doubt, the Lady Titans were taller —and played a rotation of seven, compared to nine total on the Lady Trojans' bench.

Other O-G statistical advantages were 12-6 in points off turnovers, a whopping 30-14 in points in the paint, and a 10-0 shutout in bench points.

Katie Kaufman, the Lady Titans' six-foot and one-inch senior post presence, paced the winners with a tied-for team-high 10 points (three field goals and 4-of-8 free throws) —but she ripped down 14 rebounds and blocked five shots.

Portsmouth junior shooting guard Daysha Reid, who had eight rebounds to lead the Lady Trojans, talked bluntly about how the whistles were impacting the team's mentality.

Portsmouth junior Daysha Reid (3)

Courtesy of Randy and Joann Waugh

"I think we could've done better on rebounding," she said. "We could've done a little more. But if things were different and we could've went up for a rebound without getting called for something, something good could've happened. Our best rebounder had four fouls in the first half. That showed."

Five Lady Titans — spearheaded by Kaufman and Alivia Groathause with 10 points apiece —scored at least seven, as Kaitlyn Kimmet connected for the club's only three-pointer.

Portsmouth pumped in six threes —two apiece by Allen, Carter and Savannah Cantrell.

Allen, the Southeast District Division III Player of the Year as bestowed by the Ohio Prep Sports Writers Association, amassed a dozen points to lead all scorers —on four field goals to go along with her scoring-opening free throws.

Portsmouth sophomore Sienna Allen (1)

Courtesy of Randy and Joann Waugh

Reid tallied 10 points on five field goals, Carter added eight points and Woods with four —as Carter made off with three steals.

Carter canned her first three for the Lady Trojans' last and short-lived lead —at 9-8 with 2:05 to play in the opening quarter.

Kaufman converted a pair of free throws 16 seconds later for the third and final lead change —the opening salvo in 14 unanswered Ottawa-Glandorf points.

By then, a minute-and-a-half left in the second stanza to be exact, the Lady Titans took their largest lead at 22-9.

Allen, with 65 seconds showing, and Reid —off an Allen assist and with 25 tics to go —were the only Lady Trojans' second-period points.

In the third, it was another Allen and Reid registering one field goal apiece —Allen at the 5:05 mark (24-15 PHS deficit) and Reid exactly 1:55 later (26-17 PHS deficit).

Before the 32-27 deficit, Portsmouth's largest scoring run spanned a minute and five seconds in the fourth —for Reid and Woods had rebound putbacks, sandwiched around Carter's second three-ball.

However, ALL the numbers which mattered were not —and never were —in the Lady Trojans' favor for Thursday night.

Neither was overall experience at the state tournament, as O-G head coach Troy Yant was coaching in his sixth state semifinal —all with the Lady Titans.

Ottawa-Glandorf was regional champion four years in a row from 2015 thru 2018, and given Saturday's state championship loss against Africentric, is now a four-time state runner-up (2015, 2016, 2021 and 2024).

For the Lady Trojans, they plan on returning to Dayton —as only Cheatham graduates.

Before Thursday night, the only individual with ANY state experience was Hughes —who coached Ironton to the Division III state semifinals in 2005.

Hughes has now a six-year PHS record of 69-62 —and a 233-101 career mark.

Reid and Cantrell will be seniors; Allen, KK Mays and Katie Ankrom all juniors; and Woods, Carter and Bry Shannon all sophomores.

Portsmouth sophomore KK Mays (20)

Courtesy of Randy and Joann Waugh

"We played really hard, and we made it further than probably what most people thought. I think next year we can make it even further," said Allen. "If we just keep working."

Reid, perhaps, was a bit prophetic with her response.

"We just need to keep going and get ready for next year. We've already experienced it now, so it will be better next year," she said. "I just know we will be back."

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Portsmouth 9 4 4 23 — 40

Ottawa-Glandorf 10 12 7 18 —47

PORTSMOUTH 40 (22-6)

Sienna Allen 4 2-2 12, Daysha Reid 5 0-0 10, Keke Woods 1 2-2 4, Hayven Carter 3 0-0 8, Savannah Cantrell 2 0-0 6, KK Mays 0 0-0 0, Bry Shannon 0 0-0 0, Emily Cheatham 0 0-0 0, Katie Ankrom 0 0-0 0; TOTALS 15 4-4 40; Three-point goals: 6 (Sienna Allen, Hayven Carter and Savannah Cantrell 2 apiece)

OTTAWA-GLANDORF 47 (26-2)

Karsyn Erford 2 4-4 8, Carlie Brinkman 4 1-2 9, Katie Kaufman 3 4-8 10, Myka Aldrich 1 1-2 3, Kaitlyn Kimmet 3 0-0 7, Megan Horstman 0 0-0 0, Alivia Grothause 4 2-3 10; TOTALS 17 12-19 47; Three-point goals: 1 (Kaitlyn Kimmet 1)

Reach Paul Boggs at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1926, by email at pboggs@aimmediamidwest.com, or on X @paulboggssports © 2024 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved