Boys Varsity Basketball · Connection: Panthers top Blue Devils with thrilling comeback


Portland’s Tuor Dhiel (right) goes over the back of Blue Devil’s Noah Johnston.

By Tyler Graves for The Robertson County Connection

Despite trailing a majority of the game, the Portland Panthers overcame a 10-point fourth quarter deficit to knock off White House 67-62 at home Tuesday.

The comeback was sparked by 18 fourth quarter points from Mitchell Eagle, who hit three three-pointers in the final period.

Portland went on an 18-4 run in the fourth quarter, capped off by threes from Eagle and Montaize Bradley.

However, a technical foul on Portland helped the Blue Devils eventually retake a 62-60 lead. The Panther defense made up for the error and stiffened in the final minutes, shutting out White House, while crucial foul shots from Eagle and Dawson Kennedy helped seal the win for Portland.

“We got some man rebounds in the second half,” Portland coach Darryl Travis said. “Going up with two hands and coming down in traffic with the ball. But to be behind the whole game, catch them, let them back ahead and still keep fighting. It says a lot to where are kids are right now mentally. We’re now starting to believe a little bit, and that may be the beginning of a lot.”

Durstin Adams had a strong performance in the first half for the Blue Devils with a team-high 17 points, but he only scored four in the second half after getting into foul trouble. That helped the Panthers in their comeback effort.

“We just got in foul trouble and had some untimely turnovers that did us in,” White House coach Caleb Cook said. “I think we only hit one shot in the third quarter. We didn’t really come out and take control like we should have, and when you let a team like that hang around at home, it’s tough to win.”

Portland will return home on Tuesday, Dec. 3 to face Greenbrier, while White House will host Springfield at home on Monday, Dec. 2.

BOYS BOX SCORE

Portland (67): Mitchell Eagle 33, Caeson Utley 11, Dawson Kennedy 8, Montaize Bradley 8, Duncan Smallwood 4, Dequan Bradley 3

White House (62): Durstin Adams 21, Logan Neufeld 16, Evan Webster 15, Jacob McDonald 6, Zak Laamal 4