Saturday night at Notre Dame High School, the Titans hosted the Portsmouth Trojans in a “Dunk Cancer” scrimmage that raised proceeds towards cancer awareness.
Although it won’t count in the wins and losses column of the regular season, that didn’t keep fans from filing in and filling the gym at Notre Dame. Portsmouth would go on to win 82-38.
The atmosphere was a sight to behold, and it all went towards a good cause that stretches beyond the court.
“It’s a great outing,” Portsmouth head coach Gene Collins said. “We’re trying to defeat cancer, both schools have some people with cancer that they’re battling. We’re praying for them and hoping that we can find a cure for this.”
Notre Dame head coach Garrick Anderson was also thrilled to see all the spectators at an early season home scrimmage.
“It’s a great thing for the community, and also raises awareness for cancer,” Anderson said. “I’m thankful for all the people that came out tonight.”
On the court, Portsmouth coasted behind a relentless defensive effort and a rabid full court press that they employed for the contest.
“We tried to do some things a little bit different to try and get ready for the season,” Collins said. “We worked with some full court pressure tonight, we hadn’t worked with it a lot in the preseason but we want to get some on film so we can make some adjustments to our defense.”
Four Trojans finished in double figures on the day, with Daniel Jordan leading the way with 18 points.
Collins noticed that Jordan was getting the job done on the boards, calling his senior “relentless on the glass.”
Fellow senior Reese Johnson had a nice game on both sides of the ball, notching 16 points and forcing several turnovers out of the press.
Along with Johnson, sophomore Matthew Fraulini also chipped in 16 points, knocking down four three-pointers on the way.
“Matthew Fraulini got some good looks, and shot them in,” Collins said.
Collins also called junior Danny Lattimore “really good,” as Lattimore added 11 points. The junior was able to create offense on several occasions, going from coast to coast in a hurry to send in several layups with relative ease.
While Portsmouth performed well on the scoreboard, Collins still sees room for improvement but definitely likes what he saw in the game.
“We’ve got to take care of the ball better,” Collins said. “It’s still a work in progress trying to figure out who we need to put where, but I like our defensive energy.
The unselfishness on the offensive end has the head coach thinking the team has a lot of big things left to come.
“We really shared the basketball really well,” Collins said. “We got some positives that we can build on going in to next week.”
For the Titans, it was an eye opener for some in terms of what’s to come.
“I think our freshman realized what varsity basketball is,” Anderson said. “But hey, they came out and competed.”
Several players shined for Notre Dame, most notably junior Ben Mader who led the team with 14 points, sinking three three-point shots.
“Ben makes us go,” Anderson said. “He’s very quick with the ball, and whenever teams collapse on him he can kick it to them and hopefully we can make the shot.”
Tyler Speas, the only senior for the Titans, also contributed with eight points on the evening. He also showed off his leadership ability in what expects to be an expanded role for him this season.
“Speas always gets the kids in the right spots,” Anderson said. “He’s doing things that seniors should be doing.”
Miles Shipp also pitched in with eight points for Notre Dame.
Both teams are set to begin their regular season in the next week.
Reach Benjamin Spicer at (502)264-7318 on Twitter @BSpicerPDT or at Facebook.com/ReporterBenSpicer