Portageville Bulldogs look to be competitive on the court
"Our team will have good size and height this year," said Portageville High School (PHS) Bulldogs Boys' Basketball Head Coach, Jason Irby. No doubt be a team to watch in southeast Missouri basketball. "In looking at our district, we may have one of the toughest districts in the state. When you have a host of competitive schools just with our district, there is a good chance that one of us may go all the way to state," said Irby. "Plus, the fact we have moved up to Class 3, where the district is loaded with great teams."
"Our main focus for our team this year is to continue to improve daily and come together as a group and play good, solid team basketball," he said, adding, "to be a tough, aggressive, half-court defensive team. We need to get rebounding out of everybody, due to our lack of size."
"Offensively, we would like to lay inside out, and attack the paint with the drive and pass. Our goal is to share the ball, and take good shots. Hopefully, our seniors will provide good leadership and set an example of hard work work and a great attitude. Hopefully, our team will be an exciting team to watch, because they play hard and share the ball," concluded Irby.
Irby has 16 years coaching experience. This is his eighth year at PHS, and fifth year as head coach. His coaching record at PHS is 61 wins and 43 losses. Last year, the team's win-loss record was 8-13, but the Bulldogs anticipate better opportunities this year. Its Bootheel Conference record is 3-4.
There are three returning seniors this year, Jaylin Mosby, Kynan Mosby and Derrick Priggel.
Irby said of the three players, "Jaylin has really improved over the last year, and we look for him to be one of our primary ball-handlers, as well as a kid who can attack the basket on the drive. Jaylin is a great kid who has good leadership qualities. We will be asking a lot of Jaylin this year, in terms of ball-handling, scoring, as well as improving his defense, but we feel he's capable."
Irby continued, "Kynan has worked really hard on his jump shot over the offseason and become a much more consistent shooter. We will need him to knock down outside shots to keep defenses honest. Kynan will also have to help some with ball-handling, as well as being a key, on-ball defender for us. Kynan is a very hard worker who is an excellent leader by example."
Of Priggel, Irby explained, "Derrick is a very strong inside player for us. He does a good job of rebounding the basketball and scoring in the paint. We need him to provide consistent scoring on the inside, as well as lead us on the boards. Derrick has an excellent work ethic and has taken on more of a vocal leadership role for us, in the early part of the season."
Irby concluded, "I'm truly blessed to have such a great group of seniors this year to lead our team. These guys stand for the right things and represent our team, school, and community in a first-class manner."
Assisting Irby on the PHS coaching staff this year are Scot Davis and Cody Carpender.
The Bulldogs will begin their season hosting East Prairie on Friday, Dec. 5.