Trojans top Pirates


Improved defense helps Portsmouth end losing skid

By Jacob Smith - [email protected]



Portsmouth sophomore Devon Lattimore (2) defends Wheelersburg senior Braxton Rase (11) during Tuesday night’s non-league meeting between the Trojans and Pirates.

Portsmouth sophomore Devon Lattimore (2) defends Wheelersburg senior Braxton Rase (11) during Tuesday night’s non-league meeting between the Trojans and Pirates.


Jacob Smith | Daily Times

Portsmouth senior Dariyonne Bryant (4) led the Trojans with a team-high 14 points during Tuesday night’s 56-44 win over Wheelersburg in non-league play.


Jacob Smith | Daily Times

WHEELERSBURG — With New Year’s resolutions about to take off in the public sphere, the Portsmouth Trojans boys basketball team had a resolution of their own.

That being improved play on defense, something Trojans coach Gene Collins said was lacking in their early-season start.

After trailing host Wheelersburg 20-11 through one period on Tuesday night in their annual non-league game, Portsmouth outscored the Pirates 45-24 in the final three periods for a 56-44 win — improving to 3-5 in the 2021-22 campaign and snapping a five-game losing skid.

“Our focus has been getting better on the defensive end. We’ve not been good on that end and we’ve made no secret about that,” Collins said, after the win. “Once we got in the gym and really started focusing on sitting down and guarding and committing to getting after guys, I thought it showed tonight.”

Wheelersburg had been in control of the county rivalry between themselves and the Trojans, winning the last four meetings since the 2017-18 season.

Portsmouth’s 12-point victory, in which it limited ‘Burg to a season-low 44 points, was the Trojans’ first win over the Pirates since February 2017.

The Trojans shot nearly 50-percent from the field (24-of-51) with a heavy shot selection inside the perimeter.

Of their 51 shot attempts, 40 were of the two-point variety — a result of forced turnovers and stops on defense.

Portsmouth forced 15 Wheelersburg turnovers while committing 10, and held the Pirates to 40.4-percent shooting from the field (5-of-25 from three).

“We have to get out in transition,” Collins said. “We’re better when we get out in the open court, playing up and down. I thought our pressure was good and we were able to get our lead up due to turning them over and speeding them up.”

Portsmouth senior Dariyonne Bryant scored a team-high 14 points on 7-of-16 shooting to lead the Trojans on the offensive end.

Four Trojans scored double figures in the win, including Donovan Carr who scored 11 and Devon Lattimore and Kenny Sanderlin, who scored 10 apiece.

Wheelersburg senior Eli Swords led all scorers with a game-high 22 points on 9-of-17 shooting.

Senior Cooper McKenzie had 11 points as the pair were the two Pirates to reach double figures.

Wheelersburg falls to 6-3 — following the defeat and will hit the road in its return to SOC II play traveling to Northwest (Jan. 4) and Valley (Jan. 7) next week.

Portsmouth will host Rock Hill on Thursday (Dec. 30) in an Ohio Valley Conference contest that was originally scheduled for Dec. 17.

“It’s huge. When you tell kids that when you guard hard and practice hard and do the right things, good things will happen. With that happening tonight, I think it can help us going into Thursday with a must-win game,” Collins said. “Tonight, tickled to death that we came in ready to go and even though we got behind, we stuck with the gameplan.”

***

BOX SCORE

Portsmouth 11 22 9 14 — 56

Wheelersburg 20 7 6 11 — 44

Portsmouth (3-5) 56

Devin Lattimore 5 0-0 10, Daewin Spence 0 0-0 0, Dariyonne Bryant 7 0-0 14, Tyler Duncan 1 0-0 3, Kenny Sanderlin 4 2-9 10, Donovan Carr 4 3-3 11, Cooper Maxie 0 0-0 0, DeAndre Berry 3 0-0 8; TOTALS: 24 5-12 56; Three-point field goals: 3 (Berry 2, Duncan 1)

Wheelersburg (6-3) 44

Braxton Rase 0 0-0 0, Connor Estep 0 0-0 0, Nolan Wright 1 0-0 2, Eli Swords 9 0-1 22, Jackson Schwamburger 2 0-1 4, Tyler Sommer 2 0-0 5, Cooper McKenzie 5 1-3 11; TOTALS: 19 1-5 44; Three-point field goals: 5 (Swords 4, Sommer 1)

Portsmouth sophomore Devon Lattimore (2) defends Wheelersburg senior Braxton Rase (11) during Tuesday night’s non-league meeting between the Trojans and Pirates.
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2021/12/web1_IMG_3600-2.jpgPortsmouth sophomore Devon Lattimore (2) defends Wheelersburg senior Braxton Rase (11) during Tuesday night’s non-league meeting between the Trojans and Pirates. Jacob Smith | Daily Times

Portsmouth senior Dariyonne Bryant (4) led the Trojans with a team-high 14 points during Tuesday night’s 56-44 win over Wheelersburg in non-league play.
https://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/28/2021/12/web1_IMG_3511-2.jpgPortsmouth senior Dariyonne Bryant (4) led the Trojans with a team-high 14 points during Tuesday night’s 56-44 win over Wheelersburg in non-league play. Jacob Smith | Daily Times
Improved defense helps Portsmouth end losing skid

By Jacob Smith

[email protected]

Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 370-0713 ext. 1930, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved

Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 370-0713 ext. 1930, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved