PORTSMOUTH – There’s nothing quite like a win to snap your team out of a funk, especially heading into the holidays.
Winning cures most things, and for the Portsmouth Trojans (2-4, 0-3 OVC), Saturday’s 59-46 win over West (3-4, 1-3 SOC II) did just that.
Portsmouth came into Saturday’s game on a four-game losing skid after their season-opening win over Piketon. Before heading to next week’s Kaylee Scholarship Association (KSA) Holiday Tournament in Orlando, Florida, the Trojans used a strong-defensive performance to create turnovers in route to their 13-point home win.
“Our defense was the focus tonight,” Trojans coach Eugene Collins said following the win. “We wanted to apply a lot of pressure to them, and get the court open so we could create some opportunities for us. I think in the second half we were able to wear them down.”
“Came out of halftime, lost our composure a little bit,” West coach Bill Hafer said following the loss. “Got sped up more than needed to. We knew that would be their game-plan, we just weren’t able to adjust to their intensity and play our game.”
Both teams came-out of the gate firing, combining for 38 points in the first period at a 19-19 stalemate.
In the first frame, West’s Luke Howard scored 12 of his game-high 24 points to help keep the Senators close after one. Portsmouth’s Dariyonne Bryant had nine of his team-high 19 points during the first frame also.
However, from the first-quarter on, the Trojans limited West to just 27 points, 12 of which came in the fourth quarter when the Senators were attempting to cut into Portsmouth’s lead.
The largest the Trojans’ lead would reach was 47-30 when a Matthew Fraulini made-field goal gave Portsmouth a 17-point advantage late in the third period.
“I thought Donavon Carr was very big for us tonight,” Collins said. “He was major in terms of a shot of energy, he rebounded, hustled, went after loose balls. Amare Johnson was all over the court for us, Dariyonne Bryant made some really big shots for us. With those guys growing up and continuing to improve, it helps take some of the pressure off Miles (Shipp) who was in foul-trouble and off Matt (Fraulini) who didn’t have his usual 20-point night.”
After Bryant’s 19, Fraulini scored 13, Drew Roe scored 10, Miles Shipp scored seven, Donavon Carr scored six, and Amare Johnson scored four.
Howard was the lone Senator to reach double-figures in Saturday’s loss. Brennan Bauer scored nine, Marion Phillips scored six, Noah Coleman scored four, and Nick Davis scored three.
Portsmouth heads to Orlando for next week’s KSA Holiday Tournament in which they will play three games against teams they know-nothing about. Still, they’re taking the opportunity to play as a chance to improve, and also as a chance to bond and grow as a team.
“We’re going to bond, we’re going to spend time together as a team,” Collins said. “We play three opponents that we don’t really know anything about. It’s fun because you get to play against teams with different styles. We play all our games in the morning or early afternoon, get to spend the afternoon at theme parks, and we get to go to an NBA game, Monday. We’ll have some down time in addition to being able to play and improve.”
West will also be in action over the holiday break as they will participate in the Stultz Holiday Classic hosted by Greenup County (Ky.).
“We’re focused on getting better,” Hafer said. “Our shooting, our ball-handling; Not letting this happen again where someone speeds us up and takes the ball from us which takes us out of our tempo. Portsmouth did an excellent job of controlling tempo all-night and that’s something we can’t let happen again.”
West 19 9 6 12 – 46
Portsmouth 19 12 17 11 – 59
West 46 (3-4, 1-3 SOC II)
Nick Davis 1 1-1 3, Luke Howard 9 3-6 24, Dillyn Coe 4 1-3 9, Noah Coleman 2 0-0 4, Marion Phillips 2 2-3 6, Luke Bradford 0 0-0 0, Eli Adkins 0 0-0 0; TOTALS: 18 8-13 46; Three-point field goals: 2 (Howard 2)
Portsmouth 59 (2-4, 0-3 OVC)
Amare Johnson 2 0-0 4, Matthew Fraulini 6 1-2 13, Dariyonne Bryant 8 1-2 19, Drew Roe 2 5-7 10, Miles Shipp 2 3-4 7, Chris Duff 0 0-0 0, Donavon Carr 3 0-0 6; TOTALS: 23 10-15 59; Three-point field goals: 3 (Bryant 2, Roe 1)
Wheelersburg (5-0, 4-0 SOC II) 58, South Point 56
Wheelersburg escaped another road game with a one-possession win, this time being a 58-56 win over South Point to improve to 5-0.
Junior J.J. Truitt scored a season-high 24 points in the Pirates win followed by Kenny Sanderlin’s 13 points. Matthew Miller and Aaron Masters each scored five, Carter McCorkle and Gage Adkins each scored four, and Aaron Jolly scored three in the win.
Portsmouth is off until next Saturday when they will travel to face Jackson.
South Webster (2-6, 0-4 SOC II) 75, Symmes Valley 67
South Webster snapped their six-game losing skid with a 75-67 home win over Symmes Valley.
Trae Zimmerman scored a season-high 31 points in Saturday’s win for the Jeeps while Brayden Bockway scored 17. Andrew Smith scored 12, Gabe Ruth eight, Devyn Coriell five, and Will Collins scored two.
South Webster will host South Point in a girls-boys double header on Friday, December 27th.
Green (5-4, 1-3 SOC I) 73, Fairview 61
Green earned a 12-point home win over Fairview on Saturday to improve to 5-4.
Ethan Huffman scored a season-high 25 points in Saturday’s win while Gage Sampson scored 15, Levi Singleton scored nine, Caden Brammer scored eight, Alec Smith had six, Levi Sampson had four, and Mason Hensley, Trevor Darnell, and Troy Otworth scored two apiece.
Green is off until the new year when they will host Western on Friday, January 3rd.
Belpre 63, Clay (4-5, 3-1 SOC I) 57
Belpre defeated Clay 63-57 in non-league play on Saturday.
Reece Whitley scored 17 for the Panthers, Shaden Malone had 15, Jaden Jessee scored 12, Evan Woods had nine, and Clay Cottle and Gage Moore each had two.
Clay is off until the new year when they will host Symmes Valley on Friday, January 3rd.
West (5-5, 2-4 SOC II) 59, Rock Hill 37
West won their fourth-straight game on Saturday, a 59-37 decision over the Rock Hill Redwomen to even their record at 5-5.
Morgan Rigsby scored a season-high 23 points in the win, Maelynn Howell and Charlie Jo Howard scored nine apiece, Eden Cline and Abbi Pack scored five apiece, Keima Bennett scored four, and Abby Adkins and Haley Coleman each scored two.
West will host Wellston on Saturday, December 28th as the Lady Senators seek their fifth-straight win.
Belpre 56, Clay (1-9, 1-5 SOC I) 38
Clay fell at home to Belpre 56-38 to drop to 1-9.
McKenzie Loper scored a team-high 13 points, Shaley Munion scored ten, Jaelyn Warnock scored eight, Sophia Gatti scored three, and Megan Bazler and Tabby Whitt each scored two.
Clay will travel to Valley on Saturday, December 28th in non-league play.
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2019 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved