CENTENARY, Ohio — Defense down the stretch lead the Trojans past Gallia Academy.
The Portsmouth boys basketball team allowed just two points over the final 10 minutes of play Friday night as the Trojans topped Southeastern Ohio Athletic League host GAHS 49-24.
Gallia Academy (6-6, 1-3 SEOAL) held close to the Trojans (7-2, 3-0) through the first four minutes of play, trailing 7-4. After being held scoreless for nearly four minutes Portsmouth closed the opening stanza with a 7-0 run to lead 14-4 at the end of the first quarter.
The Blue Devils cut into the PHS lead in the second quarter with a 4-0 run to start the period. The GAHS run was halted when starting guard Seth Atkins was forced to leave the game with an injury. Portsmouth, which didn’t score until the 2:51 mark of the quarter, finished the half on an 8-to-4 run, pushing the lead to 22-12 at the midway point.
The Trojans continued to build their lead after the intermission, shooting 56 percent in the third period and pushing the lead to 38-22 headed into the fourth. The Trojan defense was on full display n the fourth, holding GAHS to just two points en route to the 49-24 triumph.
The Blue Devils were led by Jacob Strieter with 10 points, followed by Wes Jarrell and Michael Putney with five each. Reid Eastman and Devin Henry each marked two points for GAHS.
The Blue Devils shot 11-of-41 (26.8 percent) from the field and 1-of-6 (16.7 percent) from the free throw line. Wes Jarrell and Strieter each pulled down five rebounds for GAHS, followed by Alex White with three. GAHS had just 16 team total rebounds in the setback.
Eastman and Wade Jarrell each had two assists, while Atkins had one. Eastman led the defense with two steals, while Putney, and Henry each had one. Wes Jarrell had two blocks in the game to lead Gallia Academy.
The Trojans were led by Sky Oliver with 15 points, including a pair of triples. Isaiha Lisath marked 11 points, Ky’re Allison had eight and Alex Dickerson finished with seven. Grant Underwood had four points for PHS, while Kendal Reynolds and Hunter Gibson each marked two.
Portsmouth shot 18-of-43 (41.9 percent) from the field and 9-of-12 (75 percent) from the free throw line. The Trojans pulled down 31 rebounds, led by Oliver with eight, followed by Lisath and Allison with five each. Allison led PHS with three assists, followed by Oliver and Alex Grashel with two each. Oliver and Reynolds each had two steals to lead the defense, while Allison had a team-high two blocks.
Portsmouth held an 11-to-13 turnover advantage in the win. The Blue Devils have lost two of their last three games. PHS remains atop the SEOAL as the lone unbeaten squad.
These teams will meet again on February 14, in Portsmouth for the regular season finale.