WHITE HOUSE - The White House Lady Blue Devils capped off a furious second half comeback Tuesday night, defeating rival Portland 46-45 on a Faithe Johnstone layup with 10 seconds remaining.
The game-winning layup was set up on an old-fashioned three-point play the hard way as Avery Droz cut the White House deficit to one with 26 seconds remaining.
“For those last three or four minutes we found something deep down that maybe didn’t know we had,” White House head coach Kelly Smelcer said. “We took it one stop at a time and one score at a time. We grew a lot tonight.”
White House trailed nearly the entire game from wire-to-wire, as Portland jumped out to a 27-23 lead at halftime thanks in large part to Eme Loza’s four 3-pointers.
In the second half, Loza scored just two points for the Panthers as White House made the adjustment to know where No. 3 was at all times.
“We quit helping off her,” Smelcer said. “We really focused on Lillie and I think we took Loza for granted a little bit. She killed us in transition more than anything, so we changed up our roles and I think it helped in the second half.”
The Lady Devils slowly ate away at the deficit, cutting the Panther lead to 37-29 at the end of three quarters.
Leading by four with just under one minute to play, Portland missed one layup plus one free throw to give the Lady Devils life. In that same span, White House capitalized on their chances, sinking two free throws, securing one offensive rebound and adding a layup plus the foul to cut the Panther lead to one with just over 26 seconds remaining.
The win improves White House to 1-2 on the season and drops Portland to 0-1. The Lady Panthers are back in action on Tuesday, Dec. 1 against district foe Hendersonville while the Lady Devils are on the road at East Robertson.
White House (46): Faithe Johnstone 13, Chloe Hart 9, Avery Droz 6, Ragan Anderson 5, Marley Hyde 5, Alexis Bass 4, Carmen Perkins 4.
Portland (45): Eme Loza 14, Ryleigh Hester 10, Lillie Whitehead 10, Cheyenne Gregory 4, Katie McCloud 3, Kayla Wasilko 2, Aleena Waggoner 2.