By now, if you click on a story about Orange basketball, you know the drill.
Read about how many points Connor Crabtree scores, see who the latest schools recruiting him are, shut down the computer and wait until the next game three nights later.
Well, here on the basics. Orange defeated Chapel Hill 77-67 on Friday night at Tiger Gymnasium. Crabtree scored 32 points and was the focal point of the offense once again.
But halfway through the season, there’s a little more to Orange now than there was when the season started at East Chapel Hill a month ago.
Coach Greg Motley is starting to get 10-12 bodies in the lineup every game. On Friday, that was more of a necessity than luxury as Orange played its third game in four nights.
Of course, it was Crabtree who was the straw that stirred the Panthers’ drink.
“We know what we can get from him,” said Motley about Crabtree, who has already received a scholarship offer from Lehigh. On Tuesday night, coaches from High Point and Appalchian State were on hand for the Southern Durham game “He brings the offense every night. That’s what he does for us.”
From the very beginning, Motley has employed a point guard by committee in hopes of finding a scoring option to replace Eryk Brandon-Dean, who was lost for the season on September 30th with a torn ACL suffered against Southern Durham in football.
For at least one night, Motley found several solutions. Cameron Cavanaugh got a rare start and keyed a 10-1 third quarter run with two 3-pointers that put Orange ahead 41-31. Orange didn’t trail in the 2nd half. Cavanaugh finished with a career-high 11 points.
While Brandon-Dean won’t return from his football injury, Jace Jordan-Cornell has returned from his. The center, who injured his calf against Northwood November 13, scored four points.
The victory capped a successful week for the Panthers, where they led Big 8 leader Southern Durham going into the fourth quarter before losing late 85-77. On Thursday night, Orange traveled to Pittsboro and defeated the Chargers 68-60.
After an 0-3 start, Orange has now won four of its last five.
Motley played 11 players against the Tigers. Logan Vosurg scored 13 points, while Daniel Mulligan added nine. Demares Drummond scored six points, but backup guard Alex Long got the lion’s share of minutes during the second half.
Chandler Compton, a reserve forward who committed to play soccer at Wofford earlier this week, added two points.
Orange goes into exam break 7-7, 4-1 in the Big 8 Conference. They face Oxford Webb in Hillsbrough on Friday night. You can hear that game here on Hillsboroughsports.com starting at 6:50.