Portsmouth Trojans 2019-2020 Preview/Game Results

The Portsmouth Trojans return 4 starters from an 8-16 season a year ago. 6-3 senior Matthew Fraulini, 6-2 junior Miles Shipp, 5-8 sophomore Drew Roe, and 5-8 sophomore Amare Johnson all return to give the Trojans an experienced lineup. Johnson started in a number of games, came off the bench in some others, but I have counted him as a returning starter. Fraulini, Shipp, and Roe are pretty much the sure starters for this season, with the other 2 spots coming from a group including Johnson, 6-2 sophomore Daryionne Bryant, 6-1 junior Michael Duncan, 6-0 junior Chris Duff, 6-1 junior Jayllen Thomas, 5-8 senior Jack Workman, 5-10 sophomore Donovan Carr, and 6-1 sophomore Jesse Dixon. Johnson, Bryant, Duncan, Duff, and Dixon are probably the leading candidates to complete the starting lineup.

Portsmouth coach Eugene Collins is in his 11th year at PHS, with a very fine record of 163-80, with 2 Final 4's (2011/2012), a state runnerup finish, 5 sectional titles, 3 district titles, and 1 regional runnerup. He has been named SEOAL Coach of the Year, OVC Coach of the Year, and D3 State Coach of the Year in 2012. He will be assisted by Aaron Smith, who coached junior high last season, Len Collins (Eugene's son and a member of the 2011/2012 Final 4 teams), Tanner Dutey (Ironton graduate and Supt.Dutey's son), and Paul Wagner, who will coach the JV team. PHS will not field a freshman team this season, but instead will elevate 4-5 freshmen up to the JV squad.

Coach Collins will try to get the Trojans to play fast, since they may just be the quickest/fastest team in the OVC. Rebounding will be a major challenge, as there isn't much size on the roster. Miles Shipp will most likely be the main post presence, and even though he is only 6-2, he is an outstanding rebounder and should average double digit boards. If the Trojans can get the ball off the glass, there should be more scoring potential to help out Matthew Fraulini, who averaged 17 PPG last season and is only 280 points shy of becoming Portsmouth's 9th member of the 1,000 point club. Perimeter shooting should be improved, with Fraulini, Johnson, Bryant, Duff, Duncan, Roe, and Dixon all capable of knocking down the 3.

Portsmouth has only 2 seniors on the roster, so the underclassmen will greatly determine how the season goes. Defensively, the Trojans should be one of if not the best halfcourt defensive team in the OVC, and most likely Coach Collins will want to full court press at times. Depth should be decent, and conditioning has been a strong point of emphasis in preseason. PHS will have to be in shape to play fast.

As far as the OVC, I have the Trojans being quite improved overall, with the possibility of challenging for a top 3 finish in the conference. Fairland is my pick to win the OVC, followed by South Point and Ironton. The conference may be slightly down this season, so Portsmouth has a good opportunity to be a contender if they can be better at scoring, which was a major reason for the struggles of 2018-2019. The Trojans should finish above .500 in 2019-2020, especially so if they can take advantage of having 5 of the first 6 games at home.

Here is the 2019-2020 schedule (tentative)

12/6..........H vs. Piketon.......PHS 65, Piketon 52.......M.Fraulini 20 pts, D.Bryant 14, C.Duff 12........Trojans outscored Piketon 41-26 in the 2nd half.
12/10.......A vs. South Point.....SP 82, PHS 75 in OT.......Trojans battled back from 14 point deficit. 5 players in double figures. Fraulini 22, Bryant 15, Johnson 11, Roe 10, Shipp 10
12/11.......H vs. Huntington St.Joe.......Buckeye Elite.......HSJ 71, PHS 66........Trojans fell behind 12-0, rallied to 70-66. Matthew Fraulini 20
12/13.......H vs. Chesapeake.......CHS 80, PHS 36.......one of the worst home losses in school history........Trojans scored only 1 point in the first quarter.
12/17.......H vs. Fairland.......FHS 72, PHS 42.......Dragons beat PHS for the 9th straight time; Matthew Fraulini 9 points. PHS last in the OVC (8th).
12/21.......H vs. Portsmouth West......PHS 59, West 46.......Trojans started 4 sophomores......SO Dariyonne Bryant 19 pts.
12/27--12/30........ KSA tournament Orlando, FL......PHS won its first game 71-53 vs. Wade Christian Acad.(FL). Matthew Fraulini 34 points. Trojans are now 3-4 on the season, and are 8-2 all time at the KSA.
12/28.......Germantown Friends School 58, PHS 55.......Trojans lose on a 3 pointer at the buzzer by GFS. One more game today with opponent TBD.
12/30.......Portsmouth lost its final game of the KSA 73-53 to Bishop Eustace (NJ). Matthew Fraulini scored 13, and was named tournament MVP. Trojans are now 3-6 on the season.
1/3...........A vs. Rock Hill.......PHS 77, Rock Hill 65.......Daryionne Bryant 25 points, Matthew Fraulini 23. PHS now 1-3 in conference play.
1/7...........A vs. Gallia Academy........PHS 55, GAHS 41........Trojans trailed 6-0, after that outscored GAHS 55-35. Matthew Fraulini 18 pts. PHS 2-3 in the OVC.
1/10........A vs. Ironton......Ironton 62, PHS 61........Miles Shipp 27 points; Donovan Carr 12; Ironton scored winning basket with 24 seconds to play.
1/14........H vs.Coal Grove.....PHS 72, Coal Grove 61.......Matthew Fraulini 23 points, A.Johnson, D.Carr, D.Roe all double figures. Trojans now 6-7 on the season, 3-4 in the OVC.
1/17........H vs.South Point......South Point 64, PHS 61.......Pointers hit 3 pointer at buzzer; Donovan Carr 18 pts, Daryionne Bryant 12; Trojans 6-8 on the season, 3-5 in the OVC.
1/18........A vs. Wheelersburg.......Burg 69, PHS 32........Pirates jumped to a big early lead and the Trojans never rallied. Matthew Fraulini 8 pts.
1/21........A vs. Chesapeake......Chesapeake 71, PHS 43.......Panthers jumped to a 15-2 lead; Matthew Fraulini 21 points. Trojans now tied for 6th in OVC(3-6).
1/24........A vs. Fairland........Fairland 75, PHS 73 OT.........Matthew Fraulini 26 points (999 total for his career), sophomore Jesse Dixon 16 points.
1/28........H vs. Rock Hill......PHS 76, Rock Hill 55.......Matthew Fraulini 19 points and has scored 1,018 points for his career; Chris Duff 14 points off the bench.
1/31........H vs. Gallia Academy........PHS 70, GAHS 56.......Matthew Fraulini 27 points; Trojans jumped to a 24-7 lead; first sweep of GAHS since 2016.
2/7..........H vs. Ironton......Ironton 53, PHS 33.......Matthew Fraulini 8 points, Donovan Carr 9........Trojans outscored 30-12 in the 2nd half. (5-8 in OVC play)
2/8..........A vs. Minford.....was cancelled and will not be made up
2/14.......A vs. Coal Grove.......PHS 72, Coal Grove 60.......Matthew Fraulini 27 points; Donovan Carr 14; Trojans trailed 20-10 after 1st quarter.

Final OVC standings:

1. Fairland..................13-1......5th straight OVC title......only loss this season was to Gallia Academy
2. Chesapeake..........12-2
3. South Point.............9-5
4. Ironton.....................8-6
5. Portsmouth............6-8.........5th place finish is 2 spots higher than 2019......improved from 3-11 in 2019 to 6-8 this season.
6. Gallia Academy.....5-9
7. Coal Grove............3-11
8. Rock Hill................0-14

TOURNAMENT:

Waverly sectional 2/17/20: Portsmouth 54, Western Pike 49.........1st quarter Western 12, PHS 8.........halftime........PHS 29, Western 15...........3rd quarter.........PHS 42, Western 33.........4th quarter, Western cut the lead to 50-46.

Matthew Fraulini (1,088) scored 8 points and is now only 9 points away from moving into 7th on the all time scoring list (Dion McKinley and Wayne Evans both had 1,096).

Sectional Final: Eastern Brown 56, Portsmouth 32: Trojans led 26-22 at the half, but were outscored 34-6 in final 2 quarters. PHS didn't score in the 2nd half until 3 minutes to go in the game. Shutout in the 3rd quarter. Matthew Fraulini scored 8 points and ended his career with 1,096 points, tied with Dion McKinley and Wayne Evans for 7th. Portsmouth's final record was 10-13.