There are no 35-page scouting reports in high school basketball. At least, not yet.
There’s not even online video, which is shared by high school football coaches via the streaming service Hudl. If a prep basketball coach wants to scout an opponent, they simply go to games.
It’s not the old fashioned way. It’s the way it is. Still.
Going into the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday on Monday, there were eight undefeated high school teams in North Carolina. Greg Motley knew his Orange Panthers would be playing one of them, the 2-A Goldsboro Cougars, 14-0 from the Eastern Carolina Conference. And the day after, a rematch at Cedar Ridge, who the Panthers defeated 74-67 on December 11th.
Since the Holiday in the Pines Tournament ended on December 29th, the Panthers have even wrapped up in exams and the Big 8 Conference. They entered Monday having won five of its last six.
So would there be extensive film study of the Cougars in an effort to be the team to put the blemish on a spotless record?
“To be honest, we didn’t do any research because we’ve been so focused on our Confernece games,” said Motley.
The preparation was insulated. Orange started the day by going to a Martin Luther King event in downtown Durham, followed by lunch at Northgate Mall.
Doesn’t sound like much, but the results paid off handsomely.
Orange stunned the undefeated Cougars 85-69 at the Durham School of the Arts to improve to 9-7. Senior Connor Crabtree finsihed with 28 points and 9 rebounds. 6’6 Logan Vosburg provided a key inside presence the Cougars lacked, registering 17 points and 15 rebounds.
Crabtree was named the winner of the Jerry Stackhouse Award for game MVP.
Instead of pregame preparation, Motley relied on in-game adjustments, which included the continued offensive improvement of point guard Cameron Cavanaugh, who finished with 14 points.
The Cougars, who have scored over 80 points in nine of its 14 wins, was held to a season-low 69 points on 29% shooting from the field. Myron Cameron finished with 19 points on 6-of-22 shooting.
Goldsboro jumped out to a 9-2 lead, but Orange responded by scoring 14 points in the final three minutes of the first quarter. Chandler Compton’s three-point play with :11 remaining put Orange ahead 16-14 going into the second quarter.
The Panthers’ mixture of strong inside play and cautious transition offense swelled the lead to 40-25 in the second quarter. Crabtree scored 12 in the second quarter, while Vosburg added ten.
In the third quarter, Orange shot 8-of-9 from the field to extend its lead to 59-40 after a 3-pointer from Cavanaugh with 2:04 remaining.
Predictably, Goldsboro had a run in them to make it a game. A 17-5 run narrowed the Orange lead to 71-66 with 4:53 remaining after a three-pointer by Nakia Atkins. After Crabtree split a pair of free throws, Myron Carmon had a three-pointer rim out, and Crabtree scored a stick back to end the run.
Three Cougars fouled out. Crabtree finished 14-of-15 from the foul line. Orange shot 26-of-35 from the charity stripe.
Now the Panthers go from the unknown to a crosstown rival in the span of 24 hours. Tonight, it’s Cedar Ridge at Red Wolves Gymnasium. Orange enters 5-1 in the Big 8, 2nd in the conference behind Southern Durham.
Cedar Ridge expected to be among the contenders in the Big 8. Instead, they’re tied for 5th with Webb at 1-4, ahead of only Northwood.
Our coverage at Hillsboroughsports.com starts at 6:50. You can listen in right here.