Portsmouth Trojans Non-Conference Schedule Preview 2016-2017

The Portsmouth Trojans will play 8 non-conference games in 2016-2017, to go along with 14 OVC contests. The Trojans will be tested very early, as the Waterford Wildcats will be the opening game for PHS on Dec.10. Waterford returns virtually their entire roster from their district runnerup team a year ago. Before they play Portsmouth, the Wildcats open their season with a home game vs. Africentric. Portsmouth West will come into PHS gymnasium on Dec.23 for a game between two schools that have not played each other in quite a while. The Trojans beat West 72-47 in the 1988 sectional at Shawnee State, the year PHS won the D2 state title.

Portsmouth will then travel to Florida to play 3 games in the KSA Holiday Tournament in Orlando, FL. Dec.27-28-29. The Trojans will be making their 3rd trip to the event in the last 6 years, and in the previous 2 times, have posted an excellent 5-1 record overall. PHS will not know who they play until they get down there. The first year, Portsmouth was put in the large school division, and the second time, played schools more the Trojans size.

After coming back from Florida, Portsmouth will play in the Dave Young Classic at North Adams HS on Jan.21 vs. Manchester. The Greyhounds are a member of the Southern Hills Athletic Conference. The Trojans should be favored in this game. Rounding out the non-conference schedule is a game at PHS vs. Wheelersburg on Feb.4. The Pirates feature one of the SE district's top players, 6-5 sophomore guard Tanner Holden, who started for the Burg last year and averaged close to 14 PPG. WHS also returns two other starters, Caden Coleman, a 6-2 forward, and Tanner Bivens, a 5-10 guard. The Burg looks to be the favorite to win the SOC II division and could make a good tournament run. On Feb.14 the Trojans will close their non-conference slate with a game at South Webster. The Jeeps return 6-2 guard Ryan Zimmerman, who already has over 1,000 points in his career. This looks to be a tough game as Portsmouth has had trouble with the Jeeps on their home court.

I am forecasting a winning season for the Trojans in 2016-2017, though it won't be easy. Not knowing who they will play in Florida makes it more difficult to make a prediction, but still if PHS can hold its own on the boards, and get some quality minutes off the bench, I could see a 14-8 record. The OVC should have enough games in which the Trojans will be favored, and PHS could pull a sweep in several matchups, namely Rock Hill, Gallia Academy, and Coal Grove. The Trojans should be able to gain at least splits with South Point, Chesapeake, and Ironton. The non-conference schedule provides some good opportunities for wins, so the Florida trip might be the key to the Trojans attaining that 14 win mark.