The 1939 Portsmouth Trojans made the first appearance for a Trojan basketball team in the state tournament since the 1934 team finished state runnerup to Dayton Roosevelt. PHS opened the season with wins over Columbus South, Marietta, and Norwood. Akron North handed the Trojans their first defeat of the season, and the Hamilton Big Blue followed that with a win over the Men Of Troy. Hamilton would beat PHS again later in the season. Springfield was beaten twice, as was Chillicothe and Ironton. Huntington swept two from Portsmouth, while Middletown would gain a split later in the season. One of the leading scorers on the 1939 Trojans was George Heller, who would go on to coach the Trojans from 1952-1968, amassing a record of 224-137, with a state championship in 1961.

In the tournament, Portsmouth defeated Pomeroy, Ironton (PHS led 17-0 after the first quarter……..remember the 2012 regional final vs. Ironton, when the Trojans shut out the Tigers in the 2nd quarter), Athens, and bested Hillsboro for the district title and a berth in the Sweet 16 state tournament. Dayton Fairview was the first round opponent for the Trojans, and although PHS led 16-9 after the 1st quarter, Fairview came back and stayed ahead for a 40-32 win, but nevertheless it was a fine season for PHS.