The Portsmouth Trojans' 7th and 8th grade boys teams both advanced in the first round of the OVC tournament. The 7th grade boys defeated Fairland 40-39, while the 8th grade boys bested Coal Grove 51-18. Both teams advance to play on Tuesday, Feb. 23 at Coal Grove HS in the conference semifinals. The OVC 7th and 8th grade championship games are scheduled to be played at Portsmouth HS, date TBD.
As far as I know, neither the 7th or 8th grade teams have ever won the OVC title, dating back to the 2015 season when Portsmouth joined the conference. The 8th grade team did advance to the tournament semifinals last season, losing to eventual champion Coal Grove.
The Portsmouth 7th grade lost 42-34 to Coal Grove and the 8th grade lost to Ironton 52-42. The OVC championship games will be played Thursday, Feb. 24, starting at 5:30 at Portsmouth.
Despite the losses, there is some good talent coming up, and brighter days should be ahead for PHS basketball. The 7th, 8th, and 9th grade groups all have multiple players that will make a significant impact on the Trojan varsity. Best junior high group that I've seen in a while. Quite a few of the kids have legitimate basketball skills and are not just "athletes".
Update 2/26/21: Ironton won both the 7th and 8th grade OVC Junior High Championship games. The 7th beat Coal Grove 50-33, while the 8th beat Fairland 35-25. Portsmouth's starting 5's on both teams played right with the opposing starting 5's in both games. The Trojans did not have the depth of the other teams, with only 3 on the bench for the 7th grade and 1 on the bench for the 8th. Covid had an effect on the number of bench players for PJHS.