While neither team won the Big 8 Conference regular season championship, Cedar Ridge and Orange have played as well as anyone in the league over the past month.
On Wednesday night, they’ll meet again. This time with a berth in the Big 8 Championship tournament championship game on the line.
On Tuesday night, 2nd seeded Orange easily defeated Northwood 72-54 in the opening round of the Big 8 Tournament. Conor Crabtree scored 25 points as the Panthers improved to 15-8, sweeping the season series from the Chargers, who finish the year 5-19.
Meanwhile across town, Cedar Ridge advanced to the semifinals by trumping Oxford Webb 73-46. The Red Wolves didn’t even need Peyton Pappas, the leading scorer in school history, to reach double figures to win easily. Pappas finished with a season-low nine points in what’s likely his final game at Red Wolves Gymnasium.
Classmate Jacob Thomas scored 22 points to pace the Red Wolves. Colby Cashaw, in his first postseason game, came off the bench to score 12 points, a season high.
Cedar Ridge led 30-16 at the half and was never seriously challenge by the Warriors, who failed to register one player in double figures.
While Orange swept the regular season series from the Red Wolves, winning 74-67 on December 11th and 63-43 on January 11th, CRHS is playing its best basketball of the season. They’ve now won 10 of its last 11, and was the only team from the Big 8 to defeat Southern Durham during the regular season.
The fact the Battle of Hillsborough takes place hours before Duke-UNC in Chapel Hill seems natural. It’s a crosstown rivalry on one level followed by a cross county rivalry on another.
There was a mild upset on the opening night of Big 8 Tournament action. Northern Vance defeated Chapel Hill 65-61 at Tiger Gymnasium. The Vikings travel to Southern Durham on Wednesday night. The Spartans received a bye through the first round after winning the regular season championship.
Hillsboroughsports.com will broadcast the Orange-Cedar Ridge game on Wednesday night. Look for a post here at 6:45, as well as our Facebook page and Twitter page for all the action live from Jim King Gymnasium.