Portsmouth junior guard Samantha Turcotte scored a game-high 23 points to help lead the host Patriots past Coventry, 52-47, in overtime, in a Division One South contest.
The tight contest featured 13 lead changes with the Patriots bolting ahead twice by seven points in the first half, mostly from fullcourt defensive pressure and an uptempo pace set by their speedy guards, Turcotte and lefthanded sophomore point guard, Hannah Wilkie (10 points).
A Turcotte drive made it, 21-14, three minutes before intermission.
But the Oakers then took care of the ball better while limiting Portsmouth to one shot per possession to chip at the lead. Sophomore guard Kendra Perry made a free throw, senior forward Autumn English scored off a putback and hit two free throws and sophomore forward Samantha Higgins hit a foul shot to pull within three.
Finally, Oakers senior guard and sharpshooter Erica Ball (12) nailed a three-pointer at the end of the half to draw even with Portsmouth, 23-23.
The Oakers sustained their momentum 10 minutes into the second half and took their biggest lead, 40-34, on a pull-up three-pointer by senior guard Casey Cloutier at the top of the key.
English (7 points), the Oakers top rebounder, fouled out with four minutes left in regulation and that helped fuel an 11-1 Portsmouth surge capped by a Wilkie drive with just 1:30 left.
But the Oakers got right back into the game, sending it into the extra session when Cloutier sank a 12-foot fall-away bank shot from the right and Tianna Cruz-Perry converted a layup with 41 ticks left after a nifty pass from Cloutier at the high post.
In overtime, the hosts didn’t allow an Oakers hoop while scoring five more points on foul shots and a basket by senior center Tenley Chlaupek. Coventry also missed a few layups.
“They took advantage of every foul called against us and we didn’t,” summed up Oakers acting head coach Chuck Jones, temporarily filling in for head coach Donna Beaudoin. “We had to take Casey out early because she picked up three quick fouls. And we played the last eight minutes without Autumn and that hurt us.”
“We made a lot of free throws and that helped us a lot,” said Patriots head coach. “But we also kept attacking the hoop and they ended up fouling us. Coventry did a good job on Sam with a box-in-one later and they kept us to just three three-pointers (all by Turcotte)."
Portsmouth (2-1) converted 27 of 42 foul shot attempts (64.3%) compared to just 37.5%, or 9 of 24, by Coventry (0-2).
The Coventry JV’s won against their Portsmouth counterparts, 46-29, behind a team-high 16 points from Sarah Sullivan, seven each by Tria Dill and Alyssa Derrick, and 6 by Ashley McNulty. The Oakers record improved to 2-1.