The 1979 Portsmouth Trojans are the only PHS basketball team to have ever won an AP Poll championship, having done so with a perfect 18-0 mark. PHS returned 3 starters from its 1978 state championship team, those being Craig Tubbs, Scot Taylor, and Scott Burrows. Jack Bendolph and Kirk McMahon rounded out the starting 5. The Trojans had several close calls during the season, as they edged Chillicothe 51-50 on Craig Tubbs free throw line jumper with just seconds to play. PHS then squeaked by Columbus Mifflin 57-55 on Kirk McMahon’s baseline jumper just before the buzzer.
Portsmouth beat Ironton 71-57 to finish perfect at 18-0, but unfortunately the Fighting Tigers would end a great season for the Trojans with a 54-52 upset win in the district championship. Portsmouth’s 29 game winning streak, which is still the longest in school history, had come to an end. Still, the 1979 team (21-1) is only the 4th team in school history to lose only 1 game for an entire season (27-1 in 1988, 21-1 in 1919, and 11-1 in 1924). Coach Dick Hopkins was named the AP Coach of the Year. Craig Tubbs finished his Trojan career as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 1,485 points. He averaged 24.5 PPG his senior season of 1979.