Month: December 2022

Green scores at buzzer to rally South Granville past Orange 67-65

CREEDMOOR–For a young team, the Orange men have enjoyed the sweet taste of victory plenty this season.

Despite regularly playing three freshmen, they’ve already won more games before New Year’s Eve than last year’s squad did all year. By late Thursday night, none of that mattered following a loss delivered in the most sour way imaginable.

Trailing 64-58 with 1:33 remaining, South Granville ended the game on a 9-1 run, ending with backup forward K.J. Green driving the length of the floor to score on a lay-up at the buzzer to lift the Vikings past Orange 67-65 inside Viking Gymnasium in the semifinals of the Columbia Bracket of the South Granville Holiday Invitational.

It was the only time in the game that South Granville (6-3) led. The Vikings will face Wake Forest in the Columbia Bracket championship game on Friday night.

Orange (10-4), who was trying to reach a tournament final for the first time since the 2017 Big 8 Conference Championship, will take on Sanderson in the 3rd place game on Friday afternoon at 5:30.

Not only did Orange go scoreless from the field in the final 1:35, they didn’t even get off a shot. South Granville’s Traevon White stripped the ball away and scored on a breakaway with 1:29 left to cut Orange’s lead to 64-60.

Pressing full court, the Vikings’ Oliver Roberts picked off a pass and drove down the floor to put the Vikings within a bucket.

Green fouled Orange’s Coleman Cloer with 57 seconds remaining. Cloer split a pair from the foul line to increase the Panther lead to 63-60. Granville’s Aidan Gass was fouled with :53.1 left and also went 1-of-2 from the stripe.

Once again, the Vikings’ picked off a pass at midcourt. This time Green intercepted the ball and dropped it off to White, who missed a lay-in. Roberts took the offensive rebound under the rim and laid it in to tie the game.

Orange called timeout with :10.3 left with a chance to take the lead. At that point, Cloer took the ball on the left wing 15 feet away and tried to shoot over a double-team established by Roberts and White. Cloer slightly leaned in and was called for an offensive foul that left the Panther bench baffled and furious.

With :5.1 left, Gass nearly took up all of the five second allotted to find a man to throw the inbounds pass. He found Green, who sprinted up the floor coast-to-coast to beat the clock, laid it in before the buzzer sounded and was immediately mobbed by the South Granville student section in the end zone.

It was the second straight rally for South Granville in its own holiday tournament. The previous night, they came back from 14-point down to beat Cary.

It was a punishing loss for Britt, who walked along an adjacent hallway around five minutes to mentally regroup before addressing his crushed team. Well after most of the crowd had left the crowded gym, Britt was still fuming over the Cloer offensive foul.

“I never got an explanation for that call,” Britt said. “They wouldn’t talk to me. It’s part of being a young team. I don’t like to make excuses for losing games, but this was a poorly officiated game from the very beginning. Unfortunately, we couldn’t beat the five guys on the floor and the crowd.”

Ryan Honeycutt and freshman Kai Wade led Orange with 16 points each. Cloer finished with 14 while sophomore Xandrell Pennix had 12.

Roberts led all scorers with 18 points, all in the second half. Roberts had 17.

Britt has taken Orange to the South Granville tournament twice before. This was the first time he felt the Panthers could make a run to the championship. For the first 35 minutes of the game, his team lived up to expectations.

The Panthers led by as many as 12 points in the second half. The game wasn’t tied until the final minute. At the end of the third quarter, Orange inbounded with :5.1 left. Cloer took the ball down the floor and found Pennix, who drained a 3-pointer at the buzzer to put the Panthers ahead 58-49.

In the second quarter, Honeycutt knocked down a 10-footer to put the Panthers ahead 31-22 with 3:53 remaining. Pennix drained a pull-up jumper, followed by a stickback from Honeycutt to put the Panthers ahead 35-24. Honeycutt had 12 points in the first half.

It was the second time in five years that the Vikings beat the Panthers at the buzzer. On 2017, the Vikings beat Orange 65-63 in Viking Gymnasium.





Reed scores 13 as Orange women win Eastern Guilford Invitational; Jordan-Cornell named MVP

GIBSONVILLE–It is a precious thing to go home with a tournament championship.

Plenty of great basketball players for Orange High, regardless of gender, spent their entire careers without winning one.

The Orange women’s basketball team faced the challenge of living up to the moment of a championship game on Wednesday night. The last time Orange reached a tournament final, it was 2018, when the Lady Panthers lost to Ravenscroft in the Granville Central Holiday Invitational in Stem.

Facing Northeast Guilford in the Eastern Guilford Holiday Invitational championship game, Orange coach B.J. Condron let his players know how much it meant to him. He showed up in a tie, which he usually only wears to graduation ceremonies.

At the end of the night, Jada Reed’s name wasn’t included on the All-Tournament team. But it should have been.

The Orange senior scored 13 points, tied with teammate Erin Jordan-Cornell for game-high honors, and also had two steals. Reed held the Lady Rams’ leading scorer, Tayana Jean-Joseph, to only eight points.

The game itself was anticlimactic. The Lady Panthers (7-8) won 46-25 at Eastern Guilford High School. Orange held the Lady Rams to a season-low in points.

“I think all of our players, at one point or another, really shined,” Condron said. “They all added something to come out of here with a championship.”

Jordan-Cornell was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. She scored in double-figures in all three games over three days. Jordan-Cornell, who was named All-Central Carolina Conference in volleyball this fall, had eleven points and eight rebounds against the Burlington School on Monday morning. In the semifinals against Walter Williams, Jordan-Cornell had 14 points and 14 rebounds.

“Erin has battled through so much,” Condron said. “I know she’s had to fight through injuries. She’s been frustrated. She’s been able to stay on the court and I’m glad she’s been able to reap some rewards from that because she works extremely hard. She’s put in a lot of work over the last four years so it’s good to see her get rewarded.”

Orange senior guard Nikayla Whitted and sophomore guard Evelyn George joined Jordan-Cornell on the all-tournament team. Whitted scored eleven points against the Burlington School on Monday. She added seven points in the win over Williams.

George finished with a double-double against Williams with 14 points and 12 rebounds. George, whose older sister Samantha was in the stands on Wednesday night while on winter break from Duke University, had eleven points and eight rebounds in the championship game.

After an emotional win against Williams on Tuesday, Orange was slow out of the gates against Northeast Guilford. The Lady Rams scored the opening field goal when Jean-Joseph sank a pull-up jumper. Orange reeled off the next six points and took a 10-7 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Reed had seven points in the second quarter, including a floater that sailed high through the air and dropped through the twine while getting fouled by Kiyah Sherman to put the Lady Panthers ahead 17-11.

After Jean-Joseph knocked down her only 3-pointer of the half, Reed scored again off an offensive rebound and dribbled down the paint for a lay-in. Reed drained another 3-pointer in the final minute of the first half, while sophomore Addie Atkins knocked down two free throws at an empty lane following a foul after the buzzer sounded to put Orange ahead 24-14 at halftime.

Orange held the Lady Rams to only three field goals in the second half. George had an early three-pointer to put the game out of range and send the Lady Panthers back to Hillsborough with a championship.

“When you come into a holiday tournament, your goal is to come out with two wins, at worst,” Condron said. “To come out with the championship is good for our confidence. We played some tough teams early on so it’s kind of hard to see we’re improving. I’ve told the team we are improving. We’re just playing some really good teams. Hopefully, this will give us some momentum going into the rest of the conference season.”


ORANGE–Nikayla Whitted 5, Jada Reed 13, Addie Atkins 2, Erin Jordan-Cornell 13, Evelyn George 11, Marshea Byrd 2.

NORTHEAST GUILFORD–Kiyah Sherman 7, Autumn Clark, 4, Tayana Jean-Joseph 8, Natalia Bemnet 2, Tamera Anderson 4.



Orange’s Jada Reed & Nikayla Whitted discuss winning the Eastern Guilford Holiday Invitational

The Orange women’s basketball team went home from Gibsonville with hardware. The Lady Panthers captured the championship of the Eastern Guilford Holiday Invitational with a 46-25 win over Northeast Guilford on Wednesday night. Jada Reed had her best game of the tournament with 13 points. Orange senior center Erin Jordan-Cornell also scored 13 points. Jordan-Cornell, Nikayla Whitted and Sophomore Evelyn George were named to the All-Tournament team. Jordan-Cornell was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. Whitted scored five points in the championship game. She scored seven points in the win over Walter Williams. It was the first time since 2017, when they won the Big 8 Conference Championship. It was a well-earned championship for the Lady Panthers, who won three games over three days against The Burlington School and Central Carolina Conference rival Walter Williams. Orange coach B.J. Condron won a tie for the contest as he does whenever the Panthers play in a tournament championship game. It was a title earned for the Orange seniors: Jordan-Cornell, Reed, Whitted and Katelyn Van Mater. Orange will continue its season on January 3 with a home game against Cedar Ridge on Tuesday at 7.

Orange’s Coleman Cloer & Xandrell Pennix talk with Jon Franklin on win over East Wake

The Orange men’s basketball team used a 16-0 run in the first quarter to cruise past East Wake 63-48 in the opening round of the Columbia Bracket in the South Granville Holiday Invitational in Creedmoor on Wednesday night. Once again, Orange freshman Coleman Cloer and Sophomore Xandrell Pennix led the Panthers offensively. Cloer finished with 22 points, seven rebounds, four assists and two blocks. Pennix shot 5-of-9 from 3-point range and finished with 16 points. He also had five rebounds as the Panthers improved to 10-3. It was the first taste of holiday tournament basketball for Cloer, Pennix, Kai Wade and Ryan Honeycutt, who started at center. Despite the inexperience, the Panthers never trailed against the Warriors and advanced to the semifinals of the Columbia Bracket. Orange will face the host team, South Granville, on Thursday night. The Panthers finished 3rd in the South Granville Holiday Tournament’s Navy Bracket in 2021. With a win over the Vikings, Orange will play for its first tournament championship of any sort since 2017, when the Panthers faced Southern Durham for the Big 8 Conference Tournament championship.

Jordan-Cornell, George score 14, Orange women defeat Williams to reach Eastern Guilford title game

GIBSONVILLE–B.J. Condron will be in a tie and slacks on the sidelines Wednesday night.

That’s not an everyday occurrence for his Orange women’s basketball team. Or even a monthly one.

The first time he wore a tie as a head coach was on December 31, 2015. It was Condron’s first tournament championship game. Going into the Eastern Alamance Holiday Hoops Tournament in Mebane, Condron promised his team if they reached the championship game, he would show up better attired than usual.

Sure enough, after Orange defeated Cardinal Gibbons in the semifinals, Condron used a few gift cards he received for Christmas and purchased new threads at Tanger Outlets. He not only coached in a tie that night, he also celebrated in one.

Games come and go in basketball, but playing for a tournament championship is special. So Condron sets the tone.

Condron’s current edition of the Orange women’s basketball team reached a holiday tournament championship game for the first time since 2018 on Tuesday night and gained a measure of revenge in the process.

Orange, just eleven days after losing to Central Carolina Conference rival Walter Williams, defeated the Bulldogs 53-47 in the semifinals of the Eastern Guilford Holiday Invitational. The Lady Panthers will face Northeast Guilford in the championship game on Wednesday night at 7.

Senior center Erin Jordan-Cornell, who missed the first game against Williams, had 14 points for the Panthers (6-8). Sophomore forward Evelyn George also scored 14.

Orange reached its first championship final in any tournament since 2018, when they played for the championship of the Granville Central Christmas Tournament. Ravenscroft defeated Orange for the title.

On December 18, Williams held off Orange 49-45 in Burlington.

“We came out in the first half ready to play,” Condron said. “Obviously, having Erin back helped us out a lot. We got shaky at the end. Williams did a heck of a job pressuring us and making shots. We were lucky to make some free throws, but not all, and close it out.”

The Bulldogs, who had defeated Orange four straight times, made a furious comeback after trailing by as many as 14 points in the second half. Briahna Scott, who appeared to be on a one-woman mission to lead the Bulldogs into the championship game, had 20 points for Williams, 13 in the fourth quarter.

George scored ten points in the first half and knocked down some crucial free throws in the final minutes after the Bulldogs narrowed Orange’s lead. George, a sophomore, is the team’s leading rebounder who had 13 against the Burlington School on Monday.

“I think Evelyn has an instinct for the ball,” Condron said. “When you watch her, I think she tries to position herself on defense and anticipate when the shot goes up. She can jump. We have tall players, but in terms of a vertical leap, she’s one of our best jumpers.”

Orange didn’t have a field goal in the opening 4:43 of the fourth quarter, which allowed the Bulldogs to climb within five points after a lay-in by Jordan Taylor. Lady Panthers Sophomore Addie Atkins responded with a clutch three-pointer, her second of the game, to bring Orange’s lead back to nine points.

Scott wouldn’t let the Bulldogs die quietly. She scored off a strip and steal for a lay-in, then stole the subsequent inbounds pass, was fouled and sank two free throws to cut the Orange lead to 46-41 with 2:46 remaining.

Williams missed various opportunities to draw closer, including several shots from point-blank range. Orange’s Nikayla Whitted made them pay with a dagger of a 3-pointer with 1:30 remaining to extend Orange’s lead to 49-41.

Orange played its best half of the season in the opening 16 minutes. After senior Jada Reed fed Whitted on a lay-in to complete a 2-on-1, Orange led 22-11. Williams coach Jason Cheek immediately called timeout and turned his volume tone to 11 in a full-throttled scolding of his team audible to everyone within the gym.

Seven different Lady Panthers scored in the first half. There were three lead changes in the opening four minutes, but Orange didn’t trail again after the first quarter.


ORANGE: Evelyn George 14, Erin Jordan-Cornell 14, Jada Reed 3, Nikayla Whitted 7, Addie Atkins 8, Maura McMurtry 3, Marshea Byrd 2, Katelyn Van Mater 2.

WILLIAMS: Kamryn Russell 8, Jainasia Bailey 8, Scout Winter 3, Briahna Scott 20, Regan Averett 2, Jordan Taylor 6.

Orange’s Erin Jordan-Cornell & Evelyn George discuss win over Williams

The Orange women’s basketball team will play for the championship of the Eastern Guilford Holiday Invitational. On Tuesday night, the Lady Panthers held on to defeat Walter Williams 53-47 in Gibsonville. It was the second game between the Lady Dawgs and the Lady Panthers In eleven days. On December 16, Williams defeated Orange 50-45, but the Lady Panthers were without senior center Erin Jordan-Cornell. On Tuesday, Jordan-Cornell immediately made her presence felt and finished with a team-high 14 points. Sophomore Evelyn George also scored 14 points as the Lady Panthers reached a tournament final for the first time since 2018. The Lady Panthers led by as many as 14 in the second half. Senior Nikayla Whitted and Sophomore Addie Atkins both drained crucial 3-pointers in the final three minutes as Orange ended a four-game losing streak to the Bulldogs. Orange will go for its first tournament championship since 2017 on Wednesday night. They will face Northeast Guilford at 7 PM at Eastern Guilford High. Last year, Orange defeated the Rams 52-27. It was head coach B.J.  Condron’s 100th win as head coach of the Lady Panthers.