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Comeback effort falls short for boys basketball

A slow start was too much to overcome for the defending Class A champs.

By
Brian Muldoon
March 3, 2020
Phillips Exeter Academy Basketball Declan Porter

Declan Porter '20 hit four three's on his way to 14 points for Big Red. Exeter wraps up the season with a 16-6 overall record. 

A furious second-half comeback attempt ultimately fell short as boys basketball fell to Andover 73-63 in front of a lively crowd in Love Gym in the opening round of the Class A playoffs.

Big Red's slow start allowed Andover to jump out to a 30-7 lead over the opening 10 minutes. Exeter would go on to outscore their rivals 56-43 for the rest of the game, but the 23-point deficit was too much to erase.

After heading to the locker room trailing 40-24 at the break, Exeter rallied in the opening minutes of the second half. The teams exchanged buckets to open play before Josh Morissette ’22, Neil Owens ’20 and Declan Porter '20 each connected from outside to keep Big Red within striking range. After an Andover free throw, a 3-point play from Robbie Stankard ’21 trimmed the deficit to eight, 46-38. That was as close as Exeter could get, however, as Andover punched back with three straight 3-pointers in a 9-2 run of that put the game out of reach.

Owens led the Exeter offense with a team-high 18 points while Porter would finish with 14. Morissette and Stankard added eight apiece, and Niko Rocak ’20 finished with seven points. Big Red finishes the season with an 16-6 overall record.