Myers Last-Second Layup Gives Orange Girls Dramatic 42-41 Win Over Union Pines

Updated: December 7, 2017

There was no better time for Janea Myers to become a hero.

Coming off a 60-22 loss to Northern Guilford the night before, Orange had struggled to get the lead in a foul-plagued game against Union Pines on Wednesday at Jim King Gymnasium.

The Lady Vikings  led 36-29 with 7:25 remaining after a jumper by Hadrya Balser, who finished with a game-high 19 points. Union Pines never conceded the lead against the Panthers in the second half—until the last second.

The Vikings led 41-40 when Emily Bowbless went to the line for two free throws. After she missed both of them, Orange had a glimmer of hope which quickly dissipated when Balser grabbed the offensive rebound.

That’s when Balser made her only mistake of the night. Instead of holding the ball and waiting to get fouled, Balser immediately jacked up a short jumper which missed. With :06 remaining, Orange’s Icez Barnett got the rebound and took off up the court with Myers trailing. Only Bowbless was back for the Lady Vikings.

Barnett wasn’t sure if she should take the ball to the basket herself or pass it over to Myers. Barnett had four fouls. Did she have enough time to score? Would Myers have time if she got the pass?

“She was nervous. I was nervous,” said Barnett.

Barnett found the opening she needed to pass it to Myers, who had the angle to lay it in with :01 remaining.

Even with that second left, Myers and Barnett didn’t bother to get back on defense. They were too busy celebrating.

Orange won 41-40. Myers layup gave Orange its first lead since the middle of the second quarter. She finished with 13 to lead the Panthers.

“After the game we had last night, it was good that we had some fight to finish the game out,” said Orange Girls Coach B.J. Condron. “This team was faced with adversity and I want to see us fight through adversity. And they did that.”

Barnett was the only other Panther in double figures with ten. Lauren Cates, who had 17 in Orange’s season-opening win over North Carolina School of Science and Math, was held to five.

Condron is faced with replacing seven seniors from a squad that won the Big 8 regular season and tournament championships last season. In 2016-17, the Lady Panthers got off to the best start in school history by winning its first 21 games. They finished 26-2 after losing to Rockingham County in the third round of the 3A state playoffs.

Maers, Cates, Barnett and Grace Dively were rotation players last season now pressed into mentor roles this season.

“We’ve got some returning players and they insert themselves in helping the younger players,” said Condron. “I’m hoping that the younger players gain some experience looking at players like Janea and Icez so we can become a decent team.”


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