Flick of the Mitch; Portman Scores 21 as Orange Defeats Southern Peninsula of Australia 80-42

Updated: December 29, 2017

Very quietly, the Orange men’s basketball team did something that no other Panther team has ever done on Thursday.

They played a game where they weren’t opposed by a high school. Instead, it was a club team from Australia.

Though the Southern Peninsula Sharks lost 80-42 to the Panthers in the opening round of the Eastern Guilford Christmas Holiday Tournament in Gibsonville, the Sharks have seen plenty over the past week. Since leaving its home of Melbourne, Australia last week, they’ve flown 12 hours into Los Angeles to reach a connecting flight to Atlanta, leading to another 3-and-a-half hours in the air. They drove to Durham on Tuesday, just in time to celebrate Boxing Day.

Orange ended a two-game losing streak and will face Northeast Guilford in the semifinals on Friday afternoon at 4. The Rams, coached by former UNC star Curtis Hunter, defeated Southeast Guilford 65-46 on Thursday.

Orange (6-4), who captured the Eastern Guilford tournament in 2016, bounced back from a devastating loss to South Granville on Friday, when  the Vikings’ Bobby Pettiford hit a shot at the buzzer to beat the Panthers 65-63.

“We tried to put that game behind us,” said Orange Coach Greg Motley. “We thought we played well enough to win it, and they just made a big play at the end and took it away. We didn’t seal that one away.”

The day after Christmas at 9 AM, Motley had a simple message for his team.

”He told us Christmas was over and let’s get to work,” said Orange guard Mitch Portman, who paced Orange with 21 points on Thursday. “And we got to work.”

Portman guided Orange to an early 23-14 lead at the end of the first quarter with 12 points. Joey McMullin added 14 for the Panthers. Matt Athlerton added six points with nine rebounds.

The Sharks were led by Caden Adams with 13, while Daniel Munns had twelve.


SOUTHERN PENINSULA: Jordan Good 4, Oscar Keating 6, Tom Marshall 7, Daniel Munns 12, Caden Adams 13.

ORANGE: Marquis Phelps 2, Mitch Portman 21, Kendall Whitted 4, Morgan Paschall 6, Joey McMullin 14, Jason Franklin 5, Matt Atherton 6, Mechai Holt 2, Zyon Pettiford 4, Marvante Beasley 6, Eli Haithcock 6, Jacoby Satterfield 2. Morning




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