PORTLAND—Wake up the echoes.
The South Portland boys’ basketball team is heading back to the state final.
For the first time in two decades.
Saturday evening, in a palpitating showdown of two strong teams and two of the finest players to be found anywhere in the state, No. 1 South Portland rode a third-period resurgence to hold off No. 3 Bonny Eagle, 56-52.
The Red Riots, behind 30 points and a regional record-tying seven 3-pointers from senior Tanner Hyland, improved to 18-3, ended the Dustin Cole (36 points)-led Scots’ season at 17-4 and advanced to meet undefeated Hampden Academy in the Class A final next Saturday at 7 p.m., at the Augusta Civic Center.
Both teams came out shooting well and the game was tied, 17-17, after one quarter.
The Red Riots then went nearly six minutes without a point and Bonny Eagle opened a 10-point lead before a late Hyland 3 made it 29-22 at the break.
South Portland then began feeding sophomore Jaren Muller in the third period and rallied. Muller had eight points in the frame and the Red Riots went on an 11-0 run to take the lead for good.
The Scots got within two points on four different occasions in the fourth quarter, but South Portland held on to advance.