McMullin Lights Up Unicorns for 37 as Orange Boys Basketball Takes Opener 85-70

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Updated: November 28, 2017

You would think that a team that loses 57% of its scoring from last season would struggle come out of the gates.

And, for at least one night, you would be wrong.

Sophomore Joey McMullin struck for a career-high 37 points as Orange easily put away the North Carolina School of Science and Math 85-70 in the season-opener at Jim King Gymnasium on Monday night.

McMullin wasted no time is letting everyone know what type of night it would be when he scored 18 points in the first quarter, including four 3-pointers as Orange jumped out to a 26-16 lead.

Senior Mitch Portman added twelve. Morgan Paschall, trying to regain his basketball legs 17 days after football season ended, finished with ten, including 7-of-9 shooting from the foul line in the fourth quarter alone.

Orange had to replace arguably the greatest player in school history in Connor Crabtree, who initially signed with UNC Asheville but is now playing at Hargrove Military Institute. Paired with Logan Vosburg, the 2016-17 Panthers won the first conference regular sesaon championship in 16 years and advanced to the fourth round of the 3A state playoffs before Crabtree broke his right ankle against Triton.

That wasn’t a problem against the Unicorns, who fell to 2-3.

Orange Coach Greg Motley scheduled his team’s first game several weeks later than other teams around the state. The reasoning behind that decision was Orange has made deep football playoff runs in recent years. Last season, while Orange made the 2nd round of the state playoffs, Motley had ten players available for the season opener against Leesville Road, and four of those were JV callups.

This year, Orange football was eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. Motley played no less than six players who were 17 days removed from the gridiron.

Orange hosts Lee County in Hillsborough on Thursday night at 7:30.

NORTH CAROLINA SCHOOL OF SCIENCE AND MATH: Caleb Pigues 26, Robert Landry 12, Andrew Rust 5, Moeshe Ikechukwu 6, William Leary 11, Geoffrey Fylak 5, Lucas Embry 6.

ORANGE: Machai Holt 7, Mitch Portman 12, Eli Haithcock 2, Morgan Paschall 12, Joey McMullin 35, Jason Franklin 2, Matt Atherton 3, Kendall Whitted 8, Zyon Pettiford 1, Ryan Sellers 1.

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