Portsmouth Trojans Basketball 2019-2020

The Portsmouth Trojans will open the 2019-2020 season trying to erase the memory of an 8-16 season a year ago. It was the 4th time in school history that a Portsmouth HS team had lost at least 16 games in a season. The Trojans had serious trouble scoring, as they had 6 games in which they scored 37 points or less, going 0-6 in those games. PHS only won 3 games in the OVC, 2 against Rock Hill and 1 vs. South Point. In the sectional tournament, the Trojans defeated Portsmouth West on a last second shot 47-46, then gave heavily favored Adena all they wanted. Portsmouth held a 1 point lead with just under a minute to play, but couldn't hold it and the Warriors escaped with a 57-54 win. Despite the defeat, it was one of the Trojans' best games of the season. Adena went on to the regional semifinal.

Looking at the 2019-2020 season, Portsmouth does return leading scorer 6-2 SR Matthew Fraulini, who led the Trojans with a 17 PPG average. Fraulini tallied a school record 46 points vs. Rock Hill, and had several other games well over 20. He will be joined by returning starters Miles Shipp, a 6-2 JR, Drew Roe, a 5-8 SO, and Amare Johnson, a 5-8 SO. Candidates for the 5th starting spot will most likely be Daryionne Bryant, a 6-3 SO, Chris Duff, a 6-0 JR, and Michael Duncan, a 6-1 JR. There won't be much size on the roster, which is becoming a tradition at Portsmouth. Fraulini should join the 1,000 point club sometime in the regular season.

Having watched Portsmouth during the summer, the Trojans looked improved but still had issues with ballhandling and rebounding. One thing that can be counted on is that this current group really plays hard, which is one thing I always expect. PHS will try to beat teams up the court, and they seem to play their best when they play fast. With no true post presence to speak of, it will be imperative for the Trojans to be improved shooting from the perimeter.

The Ohio Valley Conference title race will most likely be among 3 teams, with 4 time defending champion Fairland the favorite, with South Point and Ironton making a strong push. Portsmouth finished 7th (out of 8 teams) last year, and could possibly move up to the middle of the pack, but I don't look for them to seriously challenge for the conference crown. I hope I'm wrong on that.

Coach Eugene Collins enters his 11th year at Portsmouth, and to date he has a 163-80 record overall, with 2 Final 4 appearances in 2011 and 2012, 3 district titles, in 2011, 2012, and 2015, a regional final appearance in 2015. He has 4 conference titles, 3 in the former SEOAL and 1 in the OVC (2015). Collins needs only 6 more wins to pass Red Hopkins (1926-1936) as the 2nd winningest coach in Portsmouth history.

The Trojans enter the 2019-2020 season as the 10th winningest program in Ohio, with 1,458 wins against 783 losses. The school's 16-11 record overall is tied for the 4th most wins in state tournament history, and the 27 games played is 3rd all time. Portsmouth is a remarkable 8-1 in the last 9 state semifinal games, and only Canton McKinley has been to the state tournament in more decades than the Trojans. PHS only missed the state tournament in the 1950's and 2000's. They did finish regional runnerup in 1954 and 1955.

I plan on posting about the Trojans season, hopefully more of a progress report. Statistics may be hit and miss, but I will do my best to provide the latest on Portsmouth basketball.

For more info on the Portsmouth Trojans, please visit www.trojanhoops.org. I am responsible for the content on the site, which has over 100 topics pertaining to the history of PHS boys basketball. To date, the website has over 145,000 views.
 
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The Trojans will make their 4th trip to the KSA Holiday Tournament in Florida, which will take place over the Christmas break. Portsmouth has a very good 7-2 record compiled from 3 previous trips. They will play at least 3 games, maybe 4. I don't have an official complete schedule yet, but the Trojans open the season at home vs. Piketon. The first OVC contest will be at South Point.
 
Portsmouth has several key basketball players that are playing football. Amare Johnson, Daryionne Bryant, Michael Duncan, Drew Roe, and Chris Duff are all playing on the 7-1 football Trojans. PHS looks to be a virtual lock for the playoffs with a #5 spot in the R19 with 2 games left. That will set basketball practice behind a week or so, but the most important thing is that these kids stay healthy for the remainder of the gridiron season. The Trojans won't have much depth and can't afford injuries. Coach Collins has a very challenging scrimmage schedule, so hopefully the Trojans will be at full strength for that.
 
Portsmouth has eight 1,000 point scorers in school history, and under Coach Eugene Collins, 4 have been added to that list. Dion McKinley (2012) and Wayne Evans (2012) both scored 1,096 points, Kendal Reynolds (2017) scored 1,341, and all time Portsmouth HS leading scorer Kyre Allison (2016) scored 1,688. Matthew Fraulini, barring injury, should easily join this distinguished group sometime this season. He is only 280 points shy of 1,000.
 
It looks very much after talking to Coach Collins yesterday that Portsmouth will not field a freshman team this season due to low numbers. Still, there are 4 freshmen who will be moved up to the JV squad. Reid Pendleton, Nolan Hyland, Bo Hammond, and Tyler Duncan all played well for the 8th grade Trojans last season, and should make the JV team very competitive. No size in this group, as they are all guards, but these kids have good ballhandling skills, and play very scrappy defense.
 
Thanks. coachablekid. I will do my best to give updates.

The Trojans will play preseason OVC favorite Fairland at the OVC preview on Friday, November 22. PHS and FHS will play at 5pm, with the other 6 OVC schools playing afterward. The preview this year will be at Ironton. On Saturday the 23rd, the Trojans will host Lucasville Valley and Athens in a scrimmage.

It looks right now like there are a couple of kids who played last year that won't play this year. I still think the varsity numbers should be okay, with the starting 5 not being affected, nor the 7 player rotation that Coach Collins is planning. The emphasis will be using the athleticism and quickness that the rotation possesses to get the ball up the court quickly as much as possible, trying to avoid getting bogged down in a half court offense, with the lack of a post presence. Rebounding will be of utmost importance to make this happen. The Trojans should be a very good defensive team in the halfcourt, playing mostly man to man, utilizing the already mentioned quickness.
 
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