Portsmouth girls’ defense stymies Ponagansett

PHOTOS BY JOE MARCELLO
Sam Turcotte, Portsmouth's lead scorer, drives around a defender. PHOTOS BY JOE MARCELLO Sam Turcotte, Portsmouth's lead scorer, drives around a defender.

PHOTOS BY JOE MARCELLOSam Turcotte, Portsmouth's lead scorer, drives around a defender.

PHOTOS BY JOE MARCELLO
Sam Turcotte, Portsmouth’s lead scorer, drives around a defender.

PORTSMOUTH — A resolve to tighten up their defense paid dividends for the Portsmouth girls basketball team last Friday when they beat Ponagansett 55-39.

“One of our issues has been that we have not consistently played good defense,” said first-year coach Rob Johnson. “In some games that has left us down double digits pretty quickly.”

Friday, “they focused on their team defense right from the beginning,” he said. The result was a low scoring first half but a lead for Portsmouth of 19-16.

In the second half, Portsmouth built on that lead, thanks in good part to the shooting of senior Sam Turcotte who scored 26 for the game — nearly half of her team’s points.

Joining her among the leading scorers were Haley Alves with 8 points, Kelley Coyne with 7 and Briana Turcotte with 7.

Kelley Coyne heads up the court for the Patriots.

Kelley Coyne heads up the court for the Patriots.

With Portsmouth at 3 wins and 4 losses (before Friday’s scheduled game against  Cranston West), Coach Johnson said he sees good signs of improvement.

“After struggling through an early season of adjusting to a different system and  coach, we are getting to know each other … I think we’re headed in the right direction.”

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