Orange Women’s Basketball

Condron steps down as Orange women’s basketball coach to become AD at Southeast Alamamce

When the baseball field at Southeast Alamance High School is built, it better have a warning track.

When B.J. Condron walks past Orange High’s baseball field, he playfully chides his fellow gym teacher, baseball coach Jason Knapp, about the lack of a warning track inside Panther Field.

“He comes up to me and says ‘You got that warning track in yet?'” Knapp said. “That’s the first thing I’m going to be looking for when I go over there is a warning track.”

Perhaps a warning track would be a wanted addition for some across Orange, but it can’t begin to make up for the loss that the Hillsborough community will suffer when the current academic year ends.

On February 28, Condron told his Orange women’s basketball team that he was stepping down in order to become the first Athletic Director at Southeast Alamance High School. It ends a tenure of ten years for Condron as the Orange women’s basketball coach. In December 2021, Condron won his 100th game with a victory over Northeast Guilford.

“This is really the only opportunity I would have left Orange for,” Condron said. “I wasn’t seeking out a new job. I knew I wanted to take on the challenge of being an athletic director. When this came open, it seemed like a good fit.”

In another instance of things ending the way it began, Condron’s last game as Orange coach came at Southern Wayne High School, where he graduated and played basketball. Condron’s senior year head coach, Michael Broadhurst, was on hand to watch the Saints defeat the Lady Panthers 58-52 in a physical battle to open the 3A state playoffs.

In her final game, senior center Erin Jordan-Cornell had one to remember. She scored 12 points and grabbed 18 rebounds with four blocks.

Jordan-Cornell, who was also All-Conference in volleyball, has had to endure two knee surgeries, the second of which took most of her junior year. Both times, Condron came by her house and delivered confetti cake, her favorite.

“He wanted to make sure I had a good mindset,” Jordan-Cornell said. “He truly cares about his player on and off the court.”

Jordan-Cornell also served as a student advisor with the North Carolina High School Athletic Association this year. She was told about the opening from Condron.

“I couldn’t be more grateful to him for giving me that opportunity.”

Jordan-Cornell, Jada Reed, Nikayla Whitted and Katelyn Van Mater were the seniors for this year’s Orange team. Condron coached Jordan-Cornell, Reed and Whitted on summer travel teams before they even started classes at Orange. When Condron called a team meeting inside Orange’s Driver’s Ed room days after the Southern Wayne loss, the players thought it for setting up the end of year team banquet and get togethers away from school.

“I’ve known those players and their families because they had siblings that played for me,” Condron said. “I choked up. I put a lot of work in. They put a lot of work in. Having to look at them and realize that I wouldn’t be coaching them next year wasn’t easy.”

This season, Orange went 14-13 and won the championship of the Eastern Guilford Holiday Invitational in Gibsonville, beating Northeast Guilford in the final. Jordan-Cornell was named the Tournament’s Most Valuable Player.

Condron started as head coach in 2013, replacing Adrienne Jordan, who has served as an assistant during much of Condron’s tenure. In his first season, Condron finished 2-24 and plenty of headaches. His most experienced guard was Alicia Harris. Whenever he replaced her, a shrill, high-pitched voice was bellow out from the stands “COACH, WHY DID YOU TAKE MY SISTER OUT? PUT HER BACK IN!”

As if the the piercing message wasn’t understood, the young girl would run across the court behind Orange’s bench to really get her point across.

“She told me everything I was doing wrong,” Condron said. “I tuned it out as best as I could.”

That young girl was Aaliyah Harris, who would go on to play regularly for Condron starting in her freshman season in 2018-19. Aaliyah would become a two-time All-Conference player and now suits up for Randolph-Macon College.

“He gave me so much confidence and he’s the reason I’m the player I am today,” Aaliyah Harris said.

Orange went from two wins in 2012-2013, to nine wins in 2014-2015 to 8-17 in 2015-2016.

Then came 2016-2017, when the pieces came together for possibly the greatest Orange women’s basketball team ever.

They opened the year with a school-record 21-game winning streak, capturing the Big 8 Conference regular season and tournament championships. On New Year’s Eve 2016, the Lady Panthers defeated Bartlett Yancey to win the Eastern Alamance Holiday Hoops Invitational in Mebane, ringing in the New Year with a celebratory bus ride back to Hillsborough just hours before 2017 officially started. They finished 26-2 and reached the third round of the 3A State Playoffs.

Kaylen Campbell, the leading scorer on that team, joined Condron’s staff as an assistant this year after spending four years at Trinity College in Connecticut. The 2016-2017 squad also included seniors Mia Davidson (who started at center and went on to become the all-time leading home run hitter in Southeastern Conference softball history), Enzyah Holt, Mary Beth Dobbins, Bethlyn Early, Jazlyn Watson, and Adalyn Fleming, who graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill and has completed several Boston Marathons.

Davidson, Holt and Dobbins went on to capture a state championship in softball later that summer, becoming the first female sports team in Orange High history to win a state title.

“You like to be optimistic with teams and tell them to trust the process,” Condron said. “But I don’t feel like things come together often for a storybook like that team did. After telling them for so many years ‘Look, you keep working and it’s going to get better and better and better.’ More often that not, it pays off it something that isn’t wins and losses. But for it to pay off at their success on the court that year was pretty special.”

Condron’s 2018-2019 squad finished with 19 wins and came in second place in the Big 8 Conference. It included Icez Barnett, who went on to play at Chowan, and Kate Burgess, now a member of the UNC Rowing team.

Barnett was on hand for Condron’s final home game last month, a victory over Eastern Alamance.

“Coach Condron was always intentional in empowering us as players and people on and off the court,” said Samantha George, a freshman at Duke University who graduated from Orange in 2022. “He was committed to our basketball successes, but also always wanted to know about what we had going on outside of the gym. We were very close as a team, especially my senior year, because of the precedent he set.”

Plenty has changed at Orange since Condron arrived a decade ago. His friend, Greg Motley, stepped down as men’s basketball coach in 2018. Condron served as an assistant during Motley’s final few months as head coach while also handling his women’s duties. A few months later, Dean Dease ended his legendary stint as baseball coach. Knapp, formerly of Walter Williams, was chosen as Dease’s successor.

As Hubert Davis can tell you, replacing a legend can be a thankless task. Dean Dease stepped down with 503 career wins, 12 conference championships and a state championship. Knapp says it was Condron that made him feel welcome in Hillsborough.

“B.J. was one of the first to call and congratulate me,” Knapp said. “He asked me ‘How does it fell to come in after a legend? Does that scare you a little bit?’ It didn’t scare me, but it was big shoes to fill. I felt like I knew that I was the right man for the job two years later when we walking on the track during class and he said ‘You’re like a clone of Coach Dease. You walk on the field all the time. You take care of that field. You walk on it all the time. You operate a lot alike as baseball coaches. It’s like that just went from Coach Dease to Coach Dease Jr.’ When he said that, I knew I was at home.”

Condron hasn’t decided whether he will coach at Southeast Alamance, but he won’t have to drive as far to work.  His son, Jalen, will have his father as a teacher by the time he reaches high school in two years–much to his chagrin.

“He’s the one person most unhappy about this move,” Condron said. “I don’t think he’s excited about having me at the same high school as him. But I think he’s warming up to it.”

Going Home Again–Orange women to face Southern Wayne in 3A State Playoffs opener

Not only will the Orange women’s basketball team be in the 3A State Playoffs for the fourth time in five years, but head coach B.J. Condron will get to go home again.

On Saturday night, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association released its field of 64 for the 3A State Tournament. Orange received the #20 seed and will face #13 Southern Wayne in Dudley on Tuesday night.

Condron is a graduate of Southern Wayne High School and has joked he would wear his old basketball jersey on the sidelines if the Panthers faced the Saints in the state playoffs.

The winner of Orange-Southern Wayne will face the winner of #4 Cape Fear vs. #29 West Brunswick.

Last week, it appeared Orange was in position to play conference rival Walter Williams in the opening round of the state playoffs. It would have been the fourth matchup between the Lady Panthers and the Bulldogs this season. Southern Wayne, however, was one of several teams to shake up the playoff picture by winning its conference tournament.

The Saints captured the Quad County Conference Tournament on Friday night when they upset Fike 61-51 in the championship game. Fike captured the Quad County regular season championship after they went 13-1 in league play, which included wins over Southern Wayne by five and 21 points, respectively, during the regular season.

Southern Wayne (19-7) opened the year with four straight wins. They finished second in the Quad County Conference with a 12-4 mark.

Orange (14-12) is coming off one of its best halves of the season against Northwood in the semifinals of the Central Carolina Conference Tournament last Wednesday in Pittsboro. The Lady Panthers led CCC regular season champion Northwood 27-26 at halftime. The Chargers came back to win 63-53 behind Te’Keyah Bland, who scored 23 points. Guard Skylar Adams added 17 points.

On Friday night, Northwood completed its stint in the CCC (they will move to 2A next season) by beating Western Alamance 61-49 to take the CCC Tournament championship. Northwood ended its run in the conference by winning 42 consecutive league games, dating back to the Big 8 Conference. Northwood’s last conference loss came on January 7, 2020, when they fell to Chapel Hill.

Last Wednesday, Orange shot 8-of-10 from the field in the first quarter against the Chargers. That included 3-of-8 from 3-point range. Senior Nikayla Whitted finished with 13 points, including nine in the first quarter. Orange had only one turnover in the first quarter and led 19-13 at the end of the opening eight minutes.

Of course, Orange won’t travel to Dudley looking to just make the playoffs. In its last three playoff appearances, the Lady Panthers have been eliminated in the first round. Last season, the Lady Panthers had a excruciating loss to Fayetteville 71st where they played without center Erin Jordan-Cornell. Yet Orange dominated the Falcons early with dynamic 3-point shooting from senior Samantha George and freshman Evelyn George. The Lady Panthers led 40-23 at halftime.

Then Orange couldn’t buy a shot after halftime. 71st stormed back to outscore the Lady Panthers 45-13 in the second half to win 68-53.

Orange’s last win in the state playoffs came in 2017, when they defeated Havelock to reach the third round of the 3A State Playoffs.

Overall, five teams from the Central Carolina Conference reached the state playoffs.

Northwood, the defending 3A State Champions, received the #7 seed and will face nearby rival Lee County on Tuesday night in Pittsboro. Western Alamance will host a playoff game after they finished runner-up in the conference tournament. The Warriors received a #12 seed and will face #21 Wilson Hunt in Elon.

Walter Williams also will face a home game. The Bulldogs will host C.B. Aycock in the opening round in Burlington. Eastern Alamance, seeded #22, will travel to Fayetteville and take on Terry Sanford on Tuesday night. Orange defeated Eastern Alamance twice over the course of three days last week, which led to Orange getting a higher seed for the state playoffs.

Whitted’s free throws with :19.5 left leads Orange women past Eastern Alamance 33-31 in CCC Tournament

By her standards, it had been a quiet night for Nikayla Whitted.

Facing the stifling, unrelenting, perimeter-focused defense of Eastern Alamance, Whitted had only mustered four shots from the field in the final minute of Orange’s Central Carolina Conference quarterfinal matchup against the Eagles in Mebane on Monday night.

With time running out in a game tied 31-31, Whitted took a skip pass from freshman Addie Atkins and drove past Eastern Alamance guard Tashawna Garner. Whitted attempted a running one-hander down the lane and ran into the arms of the Eagles’ Makayla Thompson, who was called for her fourth foul with :19.5 left.

Whitted had not attempted a free throw all night, but it didn’t stop her from calmly sinking both tosses to put Orange ahed 33-31

On the Eagles’ next possession, Thompson took the ball from forward Aliya Trollinger and found teammate Nicole Hester with a diagonal pass on the low right block. Orange center Erin Jordan-Cornell, trailing the play, got a piece of the ball from behind. It sailed over the rim and into the arms of Evelyn George.

A late, desperation 3-pointer by Garner missed at the buzzer, and Orange secured its second win over Eastern Alamance in three days.

The Lady Panthers (14-11) secured a spot in the semifinals, where they will travel to defending 3A State Champion Northwood on Wednesday night. The win also guaranteed Orange its third consecutive winning season.

Jordan-Cornell led the Lady Panthers with 18 points, 14 rebounds, two blocks and two steals. In an obligatory rockfight against Eastern Alamance, the Lady Panthers 2-3 zone infused headaches throughout the game for the Eagles, who nearly won despite shooting 18% from the field, including 1-of-15 from 3-point range.

The Lady Panthers built a 15-7 halftime lead, the largest by either squad on the night, after they held the Lady Eagles (13-12) to one point in the second quarter, which featured Eastern Alamance missing all seven of its field goal attempts.

George assisted on each of Orange’s opening two field goals of the second quarter, starting with a lay-in by Jordan-Cornell. After George blocked a shot by Thompson, she fed Maura McMurtry for the Lady Panthers’ only 3-pointer of the game. Seniors Katelyn Van Mater and Jada Reed each added baskets to push the Lady Panthers lead to 15-6. Only Garner’s free throw with 3:29 remaining in the first half kept the Eagles from getting shut out.

Eastern Alamance went over 15:50 without a field goal, yet still erased its eight-point deficit in just three-and-a-half minutes to open the second half. Thompson triggered a 10-2 run with a lay-in off a pass from Trollinger. Marion Scott’s two free throws evened the game at 17-17 with 5:44 left in the third quarter.

Garner missed the final minutes of the third quarter after she picked up her third foul, which allowed its guard more passing latitude to Jordan-Cornell and George in the paint. Jordan-Cornell scored a second-chance basket after an offensive rebound from George to put the Lady Panthers ahead 21-19 with 3:42 remaining in the third. Jordan-Cornell scored again off another stickback basket, but Scott struck back with a 15-footer. George ended the third quarter with her only field goal to put Orange ahead 25-21 at the end of the third quarter.

Orange jumped out to a 29-23 after Jordan-Cornell scored on a lau-up with 5:50 left in the game. Trollinger responded with the Eagles’ only 3-pointer of the night, followed by a free throw from Hester.

With Orange ahead 31-27 with 1:35 remaining, Garner took an offensive rebound and scored on a coast-to-coast lay-in while getting fouled by Jordan-Cornell. Garner completed the three-point play. Eastern Alamance’s Jada Graves grabbed the rebound after a missed Orange 3-pointer and Garner was fouled by Reed on a drive to the basket on a borderline call under the basket. Garner hit the first free throws to tie the game 31-31, but missed the second. Trollinger got an offensive rebound in the backcourt. After Eastern coach Tim Krotish called timeout, Trollinger missed a shot from the foul line that would have given the Eagles its first lead since it was 6-5, and George grabbed the rebound.

Orange has now won back-to-back games against the Eagles. Before the Lady Panthers’ win over the Eagles last Friday in Hillsborough, Eastern Alamance had beaten Orange six straight times.


ORA: 6       9       10      8–33

EA: 6          1          14   10–31

ORANGE: Evelyn George 2, Nikayla Whitted 4, Jada Reed 6, Erin Jordan-Cornell 16, Maura McMurtry 3, Katelyn Van Mater 2.

EASTERN ALAMANCE: Tashawna Garner 8, Aliya Trollinger 9, Marion Scott 4, Nicole Hester 4, Makayla Thompson 6.

3-pointers: Orange (McMurtry) Eastern Alamance (Garner)


REBOUNDS: ORANGE 42 (Jordan-Cornell 14), Eastern Alamance 37 (Hester 8)




Orange’s Jada Reed, Katelyn Van Mater & Erin Jordan-Cornell & Nikayla Whitted discuss Senior Night win

It was a special Senior Night for the Orange women’s basketball team. The Lady Panthers never trailed and defeated Eastern Alamance 44-39 in front of a large crowd at Panther Gymnasium. The Eagles had defeated the Lady Panthers six consecutive times, including twice in the state playoffs in 2019 and 2020. In her final game inside a gym she knows all too well, Orange center Erin Jordan-Cornell scored 14 points to lead the Lady Panthers. Orange seniors Jada Reed and Nikayla Whitted each scored in the opening three minutes as the Lady Panthers roared out to an 8-0 lead. Reed had six points in her final game at Orange High. Whitted scored four. Forward Katelyn Van Mater, another senior, also scored four points. Van Mater is a three-sport athlete who, earlier this year, helped the Orange tennis team win its first-ever conference championship in school history. Van Mater’s tennis coach, Justin Webb, was in attendance on Friday night. It was a special way for the Orange seniors to play its final game on their home floor. Orange will prepare for another matchup against Eastern Alamance. This time, it will be in the opening round of the Central Carolina Conference Tournament. It will be contested in Mebane on Monday night at 6PM. The winner will travel to Northwood for the semifinals on Wednesday.

OHS’ Jada Reed, Katelyn Van Mater, Erin Jordan-Cornell & Nikayla Whitted talk win on Senior Night

It was a special Senior Night for the Orange women’s basketball team. The Lady Panthers never trailed and defeated Eastern Alamance 44-39 in front of a large crowd at Panther Gymnasium. The Eagles had defeated the Lady Panthers six consecutive times, including twice in the state playoffs in 2019 and 2020.

Orange’s Erin Jordan-Cornell & Addie Atkins discuss win over Cedar Ridge with Jon Franklin

The Orange women’s basketball team is all but assured of its fourth appearance in the 3A state playoffs in the last five years. On Friday night, the Lady Panthers defeated Cedar Ridge 46-37 at Red Wolves Arena. Freshman Addie Atkins had a career-high 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting from 3-point range. Senior center Erin Jordan-Cornell finished with nine points and eight rebounds. On Tuesday night, Orange used a 26-0 run in the second half to pull away from Person 60-29. Jordan-Cornell finished with 16 points, a game-high. Atkins finished with eight points, including two 3-pointers. Orange is now 12-10 on the season. Orange senior Jada Reed had a big night against both Person and Cedar Ridge. Against the Rockets, she scored 13 points. On Friday, Reed scored nine points against the Red Wolves, all from 3-point range. Orange will look to ensure a home game in the upcoming Central Carolina Conference Tournament. They will face Northwood, the defending 3A State Champions, on Friday in Pittsboro. On February 10, Orange will commemorate Senior Night against Eastern Alamance. It will be the final regular season home game for seniors Jordan-Cornell, Reed, Nikayla Whitted, and Katelyn Van Mater.

No Title

The Orange women’s basketball team is all but assured of its fourth appearance in the 3A state playoffs in the last five years. On Friday night, the Lady Panthers defeated Cedar Ridge 46-37 at Red Wolves Arena. Freshman Addie Atkins had a career-high 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting from 3-point range.

Atkins scores 15 to power Orange women past Cedar Ridge 46-37; Ware leads Red Wolves with 32

Photo by Bernard Thomas 

At halftime of its game against Orange on Friday night, the Cedar Ridge women’s basketball team had filled the three requirements to pull off an upset:

  1. They had gotten Orange center Erin Jordan-Cornell in foul trouble.
  2. They had kept Jordan-Cornell from scoring a field goal in the first half.
  3. They had the obligatory huge half from guard Amiyah Ware.

Unfortunately for Cedar Ridge, the Lady Panthers were able to regroup in the second half even if Ware never did cool off.

The most encouraging sign for Orange coach B.J. Condron was the player who led the charge to his team’s 11th win of the season provided a glimpse into the Lady Panthers’ future.

Freshman Addie Atkins had a career-high 15 points, including 5-of-10 shooting from 3-point range to push the Lady Panthers back from a eight-point deficit to defeat Cedar Ridge 46-37 at Red Wolves Arena. Sophomore Evelyn George finished with her fourth double-double of the season, racking up a season-high 18 rebounds to go along with 13 points.

Orange senior Jada Reed scored nine, including 3-of-8 shooting from 3-point range.

Ware, who set the school record with 37 points against Eastern Alamance on January 6, finished with 32 points. In fact, after Cameron Copeland opened the game for Cedar Ridge with a three-pointer on its opening possession, Ware scored the final 12 field goals for the Red Wolves. Koryn Shearin was the only other Red Wolf to score.

Orange has now defeated Cedar Ridge in eight straight matchups.

The Red Wolves were going for its first win over Orange since January 7, 2019. They got off to a good start opening with a 8-0 run. After Copeland’s 3-pointer, Ware drained two free throws and sank a running one-hander off a block by Annora Leaf.

George responded with five straight points for the Lady Panthers, including a 3-pointer from the wing and a stickback basket on Orange’s subsequent possession. Ware came back with a 3-pointer, but Orange’s Jada Reed responded with a shot from downtown of her own.

Orange went dry in the second quarter, shooting just one-of-eight from the field. Jordan-Cornell picked up her second foul, which forced her to the bench with just one point. The Lady Panthers went the final 6:15 of the first half without a field goal. Ware scored all six of the Red Wolves’ points in the frame, which was enough for Cedar Ridge to carry a 22-16 lead into halftime.

After Ware opened the second half by converting a pull-up 15-footer, Orange’s outside game went to work to gradually draw the Lady Panthers closer. Atkins scored from downtown off a skip pass from Reed. Jordan-Cornell scored her first field goal with 3:45 remaining in the third quarter off a pass from George. Reed sank another 3-pointer from an assist from senior Nikayla Whitted. George tied the game for the first time at 27-27 after she scored a field goal and was fouled by Cedar Ridge’s Addie Reid in the final seconds of the third quarter.

Orange (11-10, 4-5 in the Central Carolina Conference) shot 6-of-12 from the field in the fourth quarter, including three 3-pointers. Reed put Orange ahead with her third 3-pointer off a pass from Atkins, which triggered a 9-0 run that put the game away. Atkins added another shot from downtown while Jordan-Cornell scored after a block from George. Atkins’ final 3-pointer with 3:10 remaining put Orange ahead 39-30.

Orange will host Person on Tuesday night in Hillsborough at 6PM.

Cedar Ridge (3-14, 2-7) will face Eastern Alamance on Tuesday night at 6PM in Red Wolves Arena. Cedar Ridge has added a home game against Durham School of the Arts for its senior night on February 8. It will be the final home game for seniors Cierra Copeland, Cameron Copeland, Beysi Acensio and Deepmala Ford-Williams.


Orange Panther of the Week: Evelyn George

This week’s Orange Panther of the Week is sophomore basketball forward Evelyn George. On January 6, George recorded her second double-double of the season as the Lady Panthers defeated Person 60-23 in Roxboro. George finished with 20 points and ten rebounds. On January 3, George had 13 points and eight rebounds as Orange defeated Cedar Ridge 56-32 at Panther Gymnasium. Last season, George played regularly as a freshman alongside her older sister Samantha George, who is now at Duke University. This season, George has eight games where she scored in double-figures. She had her first double-double of the season in the semifinals of the Eastern Guilford Holiday Invitational when she registered 14 points and 12 rebounds as Orange defeated Walter Williams 53-47. The next day, Orange would win the tournament championship when they defeated Northeast Guilford 46-25. George scored eleven points against the Rams. George was named to the All-Tournament team. Orange appears poised to make the 3A State Playoffs for the third time in four years. The Lady Panthers will travel to Cedar Ridge on Friday nights George looks to continue a strong season.

Orange Panther of the Week: Evelyn George

This week’s Orange Panther of the Week is sophomore basketball forward Evelyn George. On January 6, George recorded her second double-double of the season as the Lady Panthers defeated Person 60-23 in Roxboro. George finished with 20 points and ten rebounds.

Jordan-Cornell, George record double-doubles in Orange women’s surprising rout of Western Alamance

There were plenty of ways the Orange women’s basketball team’s game against Western Alamance could have gone on Friday night.

The way it went was the most surprising to just about everyone in attendance, including Orange coach B.J. Condron.

When the Lady Panthers faced Western Alamance in Elon on December 13, Orange never led and lost 58-39 at Coach Erma Adams Court.

On Friday night, Orange (10-9, 3-4 in the Central Carolina Conference) trailed for all of 30 seconds the whole night, pushed its lead to as much as 23 points, and dominated the Warriors 71-54 at Panthers Gymnasium in Hillsborough. Orange’s front-line tandem of senior Erin Jordan-Cornell and sophomore Evelyn George each finished with double-doubles. Jordan-Cornell came away with 17 points and 14 rebounds. George had 15 points and 15 rebounds, including six on the offensive glass.

Two weeks ago, Western Alamance was the #1 team among RPI in the 3A East Region. Even after a loss to Northwood last week, the Warriors still came into Friday night ranked #5, the highest of any team in the Central Carolina Conference.

Whatever led to Orange’s best win of the season, it wasn’t over preparation. The Lady Panthers hadn’t played in ten days. It’s previous performance was a flat effort against Eastern Alamance where the Eagles won 49-37 in Mebane. This week was filled with exams, which limited practice to just one hour on three separate days.

“In some ways, I was surprised,” Condron said. “This was exam week. Coming off a tough loss, we had a lot of time to think about to think about it. I wasn’t sure how our players were going to react to that. I think that Eastern Alamance game helped refocus us.”

The Warriors (14-4, 4-3) perimeter-oriented offense, led by guard Allie Sykes, Emma Johnson and Bri Pulliam, hit ten 3-pointers in the first matchup against Orange last month. On Friday night, they finished with just five.

Western Alamance’s Allie Sykes gave the Warriors its only lead of the game with a scoop shot ten seconds after the jump ball. Orange responded moments later when freshman Attie Atkins drained a 3-pointer in transition off a pass from George, and the Lady Panthers didn’t trail again. Jada Reed added another 3-pointer to spark an 13-4 Orange run, which included a pair of lay-ins by Jordan-Cornell and a 3-pointer by Nikayla Whitted.

Orange led 15-4 at the end of the first quarter. Orange had a 20-2 run that blew the game open in the second quarter and pushed its lead to as many as 23. Sykes got the Warriors’ only field goal of the frame, a 3-pointer. George and Jordan-Cornell led several transition opportunities that pushed Orange’s lead to 33-13 at halftime.

Tina Bowers, who led Western Alamance with 19 points, scored 18 in the second half. She was more aggressive after intermission winding up with 15 foul shots. Western Alamance made a charge, but the closest they could get was cutting Orange’s lead to 57-45 after a free throw by Amelia Weaver with 5:12 remaining in the fourth quarter.

As Orange did for much of the night, the Lady Panthers got a key basket off an offensive rebound. This time, Jordan-Cornell took a miss by Atkins and scored on a stickback. Atkins followed with a free throw with 4:35 remaining.

Western Alamance’s Cayden White scored on her own 2nd chance field goal, but Jada Reed knocked down a 3-pointer off an offensive rebound by George to put things out of any conceivable danger.

Orange has now won five of its last six games as they prepare to face Walter Williams on Tuesday night in Hillsborough. It will be the third matchup between the Lady Panthers and the Bulldogs in five weeks.

On December 16, the Lady Panthers played without Jordan-Cornell in Burlington but still fought all the way to the end. Williams had enough bodies to prevail 50-45.

12 days later, Jordan-Cornell was back for a rematch in the semifinals of the Eastern Guilford Holiday Invitational in Gibsonville. Jordan-Cornell and George each scored 14 points as Orange rode out a 50-45 win over Williams. The Lady Panthers eventually carried home the tournament championship.


WESTERN ALAMANCE  6    7    18    23–54

ORANGE                          15   18   17    21–71

WESTERN ALAMANCE–Emma Johnson 10, Bri Pulliam 4, Allie Sykes 14, Tina Bowers 19, Cayden White 2, Mia Napier 2, Amelia Weaver 3.

ORANGE–Jada Reed 12, Addie Atkins 14, Evelyn George 15, Erin Jordan-Cornell 17, Nikayla Whitted 8, Maura McMurtry 1, Marshea Byrd 2, Katelyn Van Mater 2.

3-point goals: Western Alamance 5 (Johnson, Pulliam, Sykes 2, Bowers) Orange 6 (Reed 3, Atkins 2, Whitted)

Orange Panther of the Week: Erin Jordan-Cornell

This week’s Orange Panther of the Week is senior women’s basketball senior Erin Jordan-Cornell. On December 28, Jordan-Cornell was named the Most Valuable Player of the Eastern Guilford Holiday Invitational Tournament in Gibsonville. During the championship game against Northeast Guilford, Jordan-Cornell scored 13 points and grabbed nine rebounds as the Lady Panthers took the championship 46-25. Jordan-Cornell also had 14 points and 14 rebounds in a 53-47 win over Walter Williams in the semifinals. Jordan-Cornell has had two double-doubles this season. She also had 22 points and ten rebounds in a 72-34 win over Durham School of the Arts on December 9. This fall, Jordan-Cornell was named All-Central Carolina Conference in volleyball as Orange reached the second round of the 3A State Playoffs. She helped Orange to its most successful season in 14 years. Orange won 19 games. Jordan-Cornell is also a student advisor for the North Carolina High School Athletic Association, where she helps advocate for student-athlete awareness. Jordan-Cornell has been an advocate for all of Hillsborough sports during her time at Orange. She will try to help Orange’s women’s basketball team reach the state playoffs for the third time in four years starting on Friday night when the Lady Panthers host Western Alamance.