You have got to give the Greenport Porters a lot of credit.
Many high school boys basketball teams shackled with an 18-point deficit after the opening quarter would give up and let the game turn into a debacle.
Not the Porters on Tuesday night.
The Porters battled back and even though they fell short, they felt good about themselves after losing to The Stony Brook School, 74-56, in a Suffolk County League VII game.
“If you go into halftime and they’re up 20, it’s just a hard thing to come back from,” said Tashan Lawrence, who paced Greenport with 16 points. “Sometimes it’s a little too difficult to do. We never give up. We’ve got to stick together.”
It didn’t start well for the Porters (2-10, 1-8). The first-place Bears (11-2, 8-0) bolted out to an 11-3 advantage with 3 minutes 42 seconds remaining in the first quarter. The hosts extended their lead to an imposing 29-11 by the end of the quarter as junior guard Harry Zhu scored 7 of his 12 points and senior Chester Kayonga chipped in with 6 of his game-high 18 points.
The Porters kept the game from really getting out of hand the rest of the way. They fell behind by as many as 21 points twice in the second quarter, the last time being at 41-19 with 2:33 left and managed to bring the deficit down to 47-30 by halftime.
Lawrence kept Greenport in the game with 8 points and Sam Strickland added 5.
Twice the Porters came within 10 points in the third quarter, the second time at 52-42 with 2:55 remaining thanks to a 12-5 run as five players shared the scoring wealth. That forced Stony Brook’s coach, Mike Hickey, to call two timeouts. The Bears regrouped as Kayonga sank two treys and Luke O’Connor (17 points) hit one to get some breathing room at 63-44 at the end of the third.
Jordan Fonseca added 13 points for Greenport.
Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Ryan Costello had scored 13 points.