Cates Scores 17 as Orange Girls Win Season Opener Over Science & Math 66-44

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Updated: November 28, 2017

Last season, the Orange women’s basketball team opened 21-0 en route to the Big 8 Regular Season championship, followed by the Big 8 Tournament championship.

With the loss of seven seniors who are scattered everywhere from Starkville, Mississippi to Raleigh to Hartford, Connecticut, it’s too early to say if a similar fate awaits the 2017-18 edition of the Lady Panthers. All that’s certain right now is Orange is 1-0 and junior Lauren Cates is a big reason why.

Cates scored 17 points as the Panthers defeated the North Carolina School of Science and Math 55–44 in the season opener at Jim King Gymnasium in Hillsborough on Tuesday night. Janea Myers added 13 while Icez Barnett scored twelve.

Orange outrebounded the Unicorns 19-10 and created 13 turnovers. Junior point guard Grave Dively and Namron Chapman each corralled four rebounds.

The Panthers roared out to a 20-11 lead and led 41-20 at the half. Shannon Hunter led the Unicorns with 16 points.

Despite workouts throughout the summer to prepare for the loses of top scorer Kaylen Campbell (now at Trinity College in Hartford), leading rebounder Mia Davidson (now a catcher at Mississippi State) and center Bethlyn Early, plus the leadership of Adalyn Fleming, Jazlyn Watson and Mary Beth Dobbins, there was only so much practices could do to prepare Orange for an actual game.

“We definitely played with some nervousness early,” said Orange Coach B.J. Condron. “We got into a little foul trouble, but some reserves stepped up and gave us some valuable minutes. We got to see a lot that we need to work on moving forward.”

Orange hosts Lee County Thursday night at 6.

NORTH CAROLINA SCHOOL OF SCIENCE AND MATH—Faith Merrit 3, Kaylah Davis 3, Aneesha Manocha 10, Christina Alperi 3, Laila Barnes 6, Shannon Hunter 16.

ORANGE—Janea Myers 13, Icez Barnett 12, Lauren Cates 17, Grace Dively 9, Nashyra Wilkins 8, Jala Rainey 1, Grace Andrews 6.

 

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