S. Granville’s Pettiford Scores at the Buzzer To Beat Orange 65-63; Portman Scores 22 for OHS

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Updated: December 23, 2017

It was a nonconference basketball game between two teams who rarely play just days before Christmas.

Not exactly the recipie for anyting memorable, except for those who were on hand in Creedmoor to see it for themselves.

South Granville’s Bobby Pettiford reenacted the same basketball moment played out in the backyards of thousands of kids across the country, taking the ball in a tie game with :3.1 remaining. Except in Pettiford’s case, his running one-hander from 15-feet counted at the buzzer, sending Viking Gymnasium into a frenzy.

South Granville defeated Orange 65-63 on Friday night, sending the Panthers to consecutive losses for the first time this season.

“I was pleased with the effort, we just have to clean up some of the other stuff,” said Orange Coach Greg Motley. “We have to clean up missed opportunities. We missed too many layups and free throws.”

The Panthers squandered a golden performance by senior guard Mitch Portman, who scored 14 points in the fourth quarter. Portman finished with a game-high 22, while Eli Haithcock came away with 19.

”I thought Mitch played extremely tough,” said Orange Coach Greg Motley. “We came in not knowing a lot about this team. It was a good game. We battled tooth and nail and in the end we came up just a little bit short.”

Pettiford and James Morton paced the Vikings (7-3) with 17 each.

Orange ended the final frame trailing 48-39 after Pettiford scored on a rebound basket at the third quarter buzzer.  Orange opened the fourth quarter with a 6-0 run with a Haithcock lay-in. After Haithcock made a free throw, Portman sank a 3-pointer with 6:03 remaining. After Pettiford scored on a stickback basket, Porter sank another trey, his fourth of the game, to put Orange within 50-48.

After Joey McMullin sank a three-pointer to narrow the South Granville lead to 55-53 with 4:35 remaining, Portman sank a 12-footer, then hit a 3-pointer on the next trip down the floor to give Orange a 58-57 lead. SGHS’ Romelle Faucette hit a free thrown to tie the game, but Haithcock took a pass from Mekai Holt to score a layup and give Orange a 60-58 lead. Portman took a rebound after a miss by James Morton, then hit Haithcock for a baseline jumper to extend Orange’s lead to 62-58 with 2:58 remaining.

Orange maintained the lead with 1:56 until Romelle Faucette scored on a jumper following a Panther turnover. Faucette forced a turnover on the subsequent Orange inbound, Morton spit a pair from the line.

With Orange leading 62-61, Portman hit one of two from the stripe with :36 remaining. Pettiford tied the game with a running 10-footer with :17 left, leading to his game-winner at the buzzer.

“The kid made a tough shot,” said Motley “There’s not much more that we could have done. He got the dribble down the side and went against one of our best leaders. It was a great shot.”

Orange will resume the season next Thursday in the opening round of the Eastern Guilford Holiday Tournament in Gibsonville, an event the Panthers won last year. Orange will open against an Australian select team on Thursday morning at 11.

OR: 11    16    12   24-63

SG: 15    13    20   17-65

ORANGE: Marquis Phelps 4, Mitch Portman 22, Morgan Paschall 2, Joey McMullin 14, Eli Haithcock 19, Mekai Holt 2.

SOUTH GRANVILLE: Bobby Pettiford 17, Isaiah McLen 9, Romelle Faucette 8, James Morton 17, Ryan Moore 11, Wy’kise Allen 3.

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