Nothing anything different?

Not just around the website, but around Hillsborough sports this winter?

Funny how that works. Winter is a season closely associated with the end, whether it’s the end of the calendar year or the final years of someone’s life. For this website, a new theme was recently required simply because the old one was no longer eligible to be updated. So I opted for something that is more of a magazine format that will showcase new faces, more teams and hopefully more schools. We’re also honored to showcase the cheerleaders for Cedar Ridge and Orange for the first time under our new tab and we look forward to continue that for years to come.

It’s also a new winter season and we’ve hit the ground running with basketball coverage. It’s our honor to do it. So far, we’ve broadcast 16 basketball game over the first three weeks of the year.

For the Orange men’s basketball team, it’s their best start since 2019-2020. It’s unlike any team that Coach Derryl Britt has ever had. Frankly, I’m not sure I can recall any team anywhere that got off to a 6-2 start while regularly playing seven players in their first year at the varsity level–three of them starters.

The Cedar Ridge men’s basketball team won three games in November under new head coach Mike Jones, who has had to learn under pressing circumstances. A former assistant at East Chapel Hill High, Jones wasn’t hired until three weeks before the season started. Fortunately, senior Colton Taylor has provided leadership to help a young team in a deep conference.

In wrestling, the Orange is looking to defend its Central Carolina Conference championship. It appears their main challenger will be Person. In the Jim King/Orange Invitational last week, the Panthers finished fifth. Cary, which has won the JKO more than any other team since its start in 1980, returned to the top this year with 183 points.

For this edition of the Magnificent 7, we’re going to focus on the first three weeks of the winter sports season. We’ll have another column later this week honoring last week’s recipients.

  1. Coleman Cloer, FR., Orange men’s basketball: How can a start be any more impressive? As a freshman, Cloer led the Panthers in scoring in his first varsity game against East Chapel Hill. On November 29, Cloer hit two free throws with :7.2 remaining to propel Orange past Franklinton inside Red Rams Gymnasium.
  2. Colton Taylor, SR., Cedar Ridge men’s basketball: Led the Red Wolves with 16 points in Chris Jones’ first win as the head coach of the Red Wolves against Durham School of the Arts on November 21. A week later, Taylor had another solid game as Cedar Ridge defeated East Chapel Hill, the place where Jones was an assistant under head coach Ray Hartsfield.
  3. Kaden Tatro, JR., Cedar Ridge wrestling: Won the 182-pound championship at the Red Wolf Invitational on November 19. Tatro, who qualified for the 3A State Championships last season as a sophomore, won his opening 18 matches of the season, including 12 pins. He won against Orange and Chapel Hill during a quad match last week at Orange High.
  4. Fernando Martinez, SR., Cedar Ridge wrestling: Won his 100th career match against Omar Rushing of Western Alamance. He became the fifth wrestler in school history to win 100 matches. Martinez, the defending 113-pound Mideast Regional champion, is off to a 15-3 start with eleven pins. He has already surpassed Ethan Knapp for 4th place on Cedar Ridge’s all-time wins list.
  5. Xandrell Pennix, SOPH., Orange men’s basketball: As a sophomore with barely a year’s experience on the varsity team, Pennix has become Orange’s most established long-range shooter. Pennix scored 18 points in the win at Franklinton. He added 14 points in the season-opener against East Chapel Hill, 15 points vs. Franklinton.
  6. Jada Reed, SR., Orange women’s basketball: Scored 12 points in the season-opening win over East Chapel Hill. Reed, who replaced Aaliyah Harris as the starting point guard, added a career-high 18 points against Franklinton on November 29. She also led Orange with eight points in a loss to Chapel Hill on November 22.
  7. Acoya Isley, SR. Orange wrestling: Finished 2nd for the Orange wrestling team in the 195-pound championship of the JKO. Isley, who also qualified for the State Championships last year, is off to a 9-1 start with eight pins. He opened the year with wins over Southern Durham, Enloe and Eastern Alamance as the Panthers are undefeated in dual meets to begin the year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *