Potomac (Va.) senior Trey Porter made it clear from the opening tip — when his Freedom-Woodbridge counterpart, Frank Agyemang, didn’t bother to leave his feet — that his 6-10 frame would give the Eagles fits all night.
Three two-handed slams later, Porter and the Panthers (12-0) remained undefeated after a 74-64 comeback win Friday over the Eagles in Dumfries.
“I’ve grown a lot during the past four years,” said Porter, a George Mason recruit. “I’m just more comfortable [dunking] now. I feel stronger, I have more leg strength, and that’s about it.”
Freedom (8-4), which opened the game with three guards on the floor, shot early and often, with some success. The Eagles built a 21-15 lead by the end of the first quarter.
Agyemang caught fire from beyond the arc, launching five three-pointers and finishing with 25 points.
On offense, Potomac struggled to find good looks against a high-energy combination zone defense.
“They just ran a zone we were unfamiliar with. It was something that we didn’t practice for,” Potomac senior Tariq Felder said. “But once we figured it out, it was easy.”
Each of Porter’s dunks seemed to arrive at an important juncture in the game. He threw down the first with three minutes 45 seconds left in the second quarter, moments after Potomac seized the lead, 22-21, its first since converting the opening basket.
Freedom didn’t go away quietly, despite trailing by 15 points after three quarters. The Eagles pulled within nine to make it 64-55 with 4:40 to play.
Potomac Coach Keith Honore called a timeout, urging the Panthers not to commit lazy fouls like reach-ins.
“We’ve only practiced three or four times since before Christmas, and you could tell we were starting to lose a lot of discipline,” Honore said. “Once fatigue starts to set in, that’s when discipline becomes very important.”
The foul bug also bit Freedom. Eagles big men Marcavette Fowler and Brandon Buchanan fouled out, leaving Porter with free range in the paint.
He dunked twice in a 50-second span, icing a Freedom comeback attempt.
“After that, the crowd got into it, and it was over,” Porter said.