Pointers stymie Hornets
JACKSON, Ohio -- After being beaten by Coal Grove twice in close games during the regular season, South Point knew what it needed to do to get revenge in the postseason.
They needed to get Coal Grove mad as Hornets.
From the tip, South Point's pressure defense frustrated Coal Grove and the Pointers weathered an early second-half run Tuesday en route to a 50-36 win in the Ohio Division III boys basketball sectional semifinals at Jackson High School.
"It was just determination," South Point coach Chris Barnes said. "We haven't played defense that hard all season."
Led by the defensive effort of Payne Meadows against Coal Grove leading scorer Alex Bare, South Point's defense did not give up a field goal in the first quarter and allowed just six points in the entire first half while taking a 17-point lead.
The Pointers forced 12 turnovers and turned those into transition opportunities by getting out and running the break.
Seeing its season on the brink, Coal Grove started the third quarter on a 15-2 run, but South Point switched its man-to-man defense up to a 1-2-2 and the change got Coal Grove out of its offensive rhythm.
"We knew they were going to come out and make a run," Barnes said. "They're a good team that won 15 or 16 games and they sure beat us twice. We knew they wouldn't go away. I thought after we switched our defenses, we played really well and they took some bad shots."
The result was a 20-5 run when the Pointers spread the offensive wealth and knocked down shots inside and out. More importantly, they sealed off any chance of a Coal Grove comeback with the run.
Barnes finished the game with 17 points to lead South Point while Josh Johnson added 11 for the Pointers, who take on Oak Hill at 5 p.m., Saturday, at Jackson.
Sean Paulus led Coal Grove with 12 points. Bare was limited to just five points in the season-ending loss.
SOUTH POINT 10 13 9 18 -- 50: Majher 2, Barnes 17, Boggs 7, Johnson 11, White 2, Meadows 8, Kratzenburg 3.
COAL GROVE 1 5 15 15 -- 36: Bare 5, Adkins 2, Markins 9, Gunther 8, Paulus 12
PORTSMOUTH WEST 59, ROCK HILL 39: Portsmouth West outscored Rock Hill 17-3 in the second quarter and used the 3-point shot to get past the Redmen in the nightcap at Jackson High School.
Zach Bolton finished with 12 points and Michael Hafer added 11 points and eight rebounds to lead the Senators to the win.
Six different players hit a 3-pointer for Portsmouth West, who takes on Lucasville Valley on Saturday at 8 p.m.
Rock Hill got 12 points from Jake Falls, but 20 turnovers led to the Redmen's demise.
ROCK HILL 13 3 11 12 -- 39: Collins 8, Morris 2, Falls 12, Stidham 4, Delawder 7, Harper 6.
PORTSMOUTH WEST 9 17 21 12 -- 59: Bricker 6, Travis 7, J. Bolton 6, Davis 8, Hafer 11, Irwin 4, Z. Bolton 12, Frye 5