PORTSMOUTH – The Portsmouth Trojans are in a slump, there’s no denying that.
After their loss on Monday to fellow OVC rival Chesapeake at home 60-31, the Trojans have dropped their last six games by an average of 18.3 points per game.
“We got off to a slow start, and they made scoring for us very difficult all night long,” said Trojans head coach Gene Collins following their loss Tuesday. “We just couldn’t put anything together consistently offensively. I thought after their huge start in the first quarter where they hit five threes, we held them to I think nine points in the second quarter. We were getting stops, but we weren’t scoring so that lead wasn’t shrinking. When they’re able to play comfortable and free, and we’re pressing to score a bucket, we just couldn’t get over that hump tonight.”
A slow start sums up the Trojans night to a tee. Portsmouth trailed the Panthers 21-2 with just a minute remaining in the first quarter, and things only got worse from there.
Chesapeake took a 33-13 lead into the halftime locker room before extending that lead to 47-20 after three. When the final buzzer sounded, it was the Panthers who walked away with a 29 point road conference win over the Trojans.
Portsmouth was led in scoring by Miles Shipp who finished with a team high six points, all of which came in the first quarter.
Chesapeake was led in scoring by sophomore big man Eli Archer who finished with 17 points.
Moving forward, things don’t get any easier for the Trojans in the final week and a half before tournament play. Portsmouth will have senior night this Friday when hosting the OVC’s top team in Fairland and will then finish out the regular season with three straight road trips to Rock Hill, Gallia Academy, and Ironton.
“We’re playing young guys, and the biggest thing we have to do is keep our confidence up,” said Collins. “Keep playing, keep trying to find ways to different guys involved. They take Matthew Fraulini away, we need to have other guys step up. As we get ready to go on this rough stretch of Fairland coming in, then road trips to Gallia, Rock Hill, and Ironton. We just have to put this one behind us and get ourselves together.”
Chesapeake: 24-9-14-13 – 60
Portsmouth: 6-7-7-11 – 31
Chesapeake: 23 FG, 8 3PT (Cox, Blankenship 2), 6/9 FT.
Portsmouth: 13 FG, 5 3PT (Fraulini, Lattimore, Roe, Bowman, Duff 1), 0/1 FT. Scoring: Shipp 6, Fraulini 5, Lattimore 5, Roe 5, McKinley 4, Bowman 3, Duff 3
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT