PORTSMOUTH — Matthew Fraulini knew he would likely score his 1,000th career point pretty early during Tuesday’s game versus Rock Hill.
After earning a starting spot during his sophomore year, the Portsmouth senior has been getting buckets every step of the way — none more culminating than his three-point make in the first quarter which would allow him to become the ninth Trojan in program history to cross the 1,000-point mark during their high school career.
“It’s a blessing,” Fraulini said. “Put a lot of time and effort in over the years, it’s really paid off. I knew I would get it eventually; I didn’t play varsity my freshman year, so just had to work that much harder to be able to get here.”
Fraulini (1,017 points) now trails former Trojan guard Damond Mannon (1,057 points) for No. 8 on the PHS all-time scoring list while being eight spots behind the school’s all-time scoring leader, 2016 graduate Kyre Allison (1,688 points).
“For a guy to get to 1,000 points, he’s very unselfish,” Portsmouth coach Eugene Collins said of Fraulini. “Almost to a fault. He doesn’t like taking bad shots. Most times when guys score 1,000 points, they want to shoot it every time they get it, but that’s not him.
Fraulini’s early three was one of 12-makes Portsmouth (7-11, 4-7 OVC) would have from behind-the-arc in their 76-55 win over Rock Hill (3-14, 0-11 OVC) in Ohio Valley Conference play.
The senior Trojan and junior Chris Duff made four-threes apiece in their win over Rock Hill with three of Duff’s four coming in the high scoring second quarter.
Portsmouth would ultimately take the second 21-19 to hold a 37-30 halftime lead. Sophomore Jesse Dixon — starting in his second game of the season — connected on a three following another Fraulini make to give Portsmouth a 43-30 lead before the Redmen could even blink.
Dixon would score seven in his second-career start as Duff’s four threes helped put the junior sharp-shooter at a season-high 14 points.
After Fraulini’s game-high 19, Miles Shipp would score 13 on 7-for-8 foul shooting while Drew Roe would score 10 on 8-for-10 shooting from the foul line.
“I thought it was a team effort tonight, I thought everyone stepped up and played well,” Collins said. “Guys up and down the bench came in and contributed, and they did what we asked them to do.”
Rock Hill would cut the Trojans lead to as few as nine in the late stages of the third, but Portsmouth’s solid defense and strong rebounding kept the visiting Redmen at bay.
An 11-2 run for Collins’ group helped solidify things as Portsmouth would extend their late lead to as many as 23 points.
The possibility for the Trojans to finish the regular season on an extremely high note — while also accomplishing some of their preseason goals — is certainly there.
This Friday and the next, Portsmouth will welcome OVC foes and longtime rivals Gallia Academy and Ironton to Trojan Arena. Next Friday’s game versus Ironton is also senior night for two Trojan seniors: Fraulini and Jack Workman.
After their senior night festivities, Portsmouth will hit the road for their final two games of the regular season. The Trojans will travel to take on Minford on February 8th before finishing out their regular season February 14th at Coal Grove.
“I think we’re pushing through and getting some momentum,” Collins said. “We’ve got other guys who are stepping up that haven’t logged a lot of varsity minutes. It’s helping us, giving us an idea of who we can play and what combinations we can go with as we get closer to the tournament.”
“We’ve got to keep playing how we just did,” Fraulini said of Portsmouth’s chance at gaining momentum down-the-stretch. “Keep the ball moving, don’t let it get tied up, hit the open man and feeding it to who’s hot.”
RH 11 19 13 12 — 55
Portsmouth 16 21 17 22 — 76
Rock Hill 55 (3-14, 0-11 OVC)
Nick Blankenship 6 0-0 12, Braden Stamper 3 0-0 9, Owen Hankins 1 7-8 9, Brayden Malone 3 1-2 7, Logan Hankins 3 1-2 8, Garrett Miller 1 2-2 5, Lane Smith 1 1-1 3, Jacob Schwab 1 0-0 2, Brayden Adams 0 0-1 0, Noah Doddridge 0 0-0 0; TOTALS 19 11-14 55; Three-point field goals: 6 (Stamper 3, L. Hankins 2, Miller 1 apiece)
Portsmouth 76 (7-11, 4-7 OVC)
Amare Johnson 1 0-0 3, Matthew Fraulini 7 1-2 19, Dariyonne Bryant 2 0-0 4, Drew Roe 1 8-10 10, Jack Workman 0 0-0 0, Daewin Spence 0 0-0 0, Jesse Dixon 3 0-0 7, Michael Duncan 0 0-0 0, Miles Shipp 3 7-8 13, Chris Duff 5 0-0 14, Donavon Carr 1 0-0 3, Trevor Pope 1 0-0 3, Tanner Campbell 0 0-0 0, Jaylind Thomas 0 0-0 0; TOTALS: 24 16-20 76; Three-point field goals: 12 (Fraulini, Duff 4, Johnson, Carr, Dixon, Pope 1 apiecce)