Month: January 2023

Orange wrestling’s Adrian Sierra & Jared Hutchins discuss reaching state quarterfinals

The Orange wrestling squad has reached the state quarterfinals of the 3A Dual Team Playoffs. On Saturday afternoon, the Panthers defeated Southern Nash 62-16 in the opening round at Panther Gymnasium. In the second round, Orange came back from an early deficit to defeat C.B. Aycock 40-24. Orange sophomore Adrian Sierra may have had the biggest clutch win of the day against C.B. Aycock. Facing Carvin McMahon in the 113-pound match, Sierra was on the verge of getting pinned before he scored a dramatic sweep. Sierra wound up on top of McMahon and scored the pin at 1:58. It evened the dual match at 9-9 and the Panthers didn’t trail the Golden Falcons again. Earlier in the day, Sierra defeated Trevon Baker of Southern Nash 6-2. At 132 pounds, Orange’s Jared Hutchins had a dominant day. Hutchins pinned Jeremy Johnson of Aycock in 1:11. Earlier, Hutchins defeated Jaden Edwards of Southern Nash via technical fall 16-0. Orange will host the regional semifinal matches tonight. The Panthers will face Swansboro. Meanwhile on the opposite match, Union Pines, the #1 seed in the East, will face First Flight. Orange will go for its 11th regional championship.

Orange’s Erin Jordan-Cornell & Addie Atkins discuss win over Cedar Ridge with Jon Franklin

The Orange women’s basketball team is all but assured of its fourth appearance in the 3A state playoffs in the last five years. On Friday night, the Lady Panthers defeated Cedar Ridge 46-37 at Red Wolves Arena. Freshman Addie Atkins had a career-high 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting from 3-point range. Senior center Erin Jordan-Cornell finished with nine points and eight rebounds. On Tuesday night, Orange used a 26-0 run in the second half to pull away from Person 60-29. Jordan-Cornell finished with 16 points, a game-high. Atkins finished with eight points, including two 3-pointers. Orange is now 12-10 on the season. Orange senior Jada Reed had a big night against both Person and Cedar Ridge. Against the Rockets, she scored 13 points. On Friday, Reed scored nine points against the Red Wolves, all from 3-point range. Orange will look to ensure a home game in the upcoming Central Carolina Conference Tournament. They will face Northwood, the defending 3A State Champions, on Friday in Pittsboro. On February 10, Orange will commemorate Senior Night against Eastern Alamance. It will be the final regular season home game for seniors Jordan-Cornell, Reed, Nikayla Whitted, and Katelyn Van Mater.

Medley, Hutchins, Sierra lift Orange wrestling past S. Nash, Aycock, into 3A State Quarterfinals

Photo by Jennifer Freeland

For a fleeting moment, it appeared that the Orange wrestling team’s chances of reaching the state quarterfinals were in grave jeopardy.

With C.B. Aycock leading the Panthers 9-3 in a 2nd round dual match, the Golden Falcons’ Carvin McMahon was ahead of Orange’s Aidan Sierra 4-0. With less than 20 seconds remaining in the first period, McMahon looked to have Sierra’s shoulders on the mat.

That’s when Sierra scored a reversal out of nowhere along the outer edge of the circle to send the Orange fans inside Panther gymnasium into a frenzy. Just before the clock expired, Sierra got the pin at 1:58, his second pin of the day and his 16h of the season.

It squared the dual match at 9-9, but Sierra’s sudden reversal all but ensured the Panthers would return to the state quarterfinals of the 3A State Dual Team Wrestling Tournament for the second straight year.

Sierra’s victory started a string of four straight Panther wins, three of which were pins. Orange would go on to win the dual match 40-24 against C.B. Aycock on Saturday afternoon in front of a enthusiastic crowd at Orange High Gymnasium.

The Panthers will host the State Quarterfinals and the 3A Eastern Regional Championship match on Wednesday night in Hillsborough. Orange will open with Swansboro. On the other mat with be the top seed, Union Pines, who will face First Flight.

The Eastern Regional Championship match will immediately follow the semifinals.

Orange’s Elijah Acosta, a senior with a 30-5 record this season, opened the dual match against Aycock against Dallas Bailey at 220 pounds. It appeared that Acosta scored a pin in the first period, but one of the two referees called time because Bailey suffered a wrist injury. After Orange trainer Emily Gaddy taped Bailey’s wrist, the match continued with Acosta holding on to win 7-5, despite being penalized two points for stalling. Acosta got a late takedown in the waning seconds to secure the win.

Aycock took the lead behind a pin from Jason Best, who defeated Orange heavyweight Hugo Vazquez in 3:46. At 106 pounds, Aycock’s Jaiden Moses decisioned Logan Scarantino 11-6 to put the Falcons ahead 9-3.

Following Sierra’s win, Orange’s Quadir Medley immediately grabbed a 5-0 lead against Kiare Sewell at 120 pounds. Medley nearly scored the pin late in the first period as Sewell used up almost all of his energy keeping his left shoulder off the mat. Medley immediately attacked a gassed Sewell to start the second period and earned the pin at 2:14 to put Orange’s lead at 15-9.

Orange’s Braeden Crawford scored a 4-2 decision over Jaden Bevell at 126 pounds. It took only 26 seconds for Crawford to get the opening takedown. Bevell could only muster escape points and required work on his left arm from Gaddy in the second period.

At 132 pounds, Orange’s Jared Hutchins needed only 1:11 to dispose of Jeremy Johnson. It improved Hutchins’ record to 24-4 with 16 pins. and increased Orange’s lead to 21-9.

The Falcons responded with consecutive victories. Russell Davis defeated Ben Musser 11-7 at 138 pounds. Axl Perry, a wrestling name if there ever was one, pinned Orange’s Colton Jones at 4:45. Due to injuries with competitors at 160 pounds, Orange coach Spenser Poteat opted to have Dillon Heffernan and Sam Crawford each wrestle a weight class higher than usual.

With Orange’s lead down to 21-18, Heffernan took the mat at 152 pounds (he usually competes at 145) and controlled the match against Samad Wooten. The two had several lengthy whizzer tie-ups that Heffernan got the upper-hand in. With Wooten leading 2-0 at the end of the first period, Heffernan started the second with a quick escape to take a 3-2 advantage. To open the third, Heffernan flattened out Wotten and got his back for the reversal. Leading 5-2, Heffernan maintained the dominant position to win despite giving up a few pounds.

At 160 pounds, Crawford defeated Chance Sauls 8-7 in a tight match. Crawford got an escape point just as the second period ended for the margin of victory. At 170 pounds, Orange’s Andre Hill defeated Dawson Sauls 13-4 via major decision to ensure an Orange win.

Orange senior Acoya Isley quickly pinned Jaylen Coley in 17 seconds at 195 pounds. Isley is 32-2 with 21 pins this season.

Orange opened the day with a 62-16 win over Southern Nash. Isley opened the day with a forfeit win. Acosta pinned the Firebirds’ John Tolleson in 2:55 following a takedown late in the second period.

Vazquez defeated Leo Robiero via pinfall in 3:01. Southern Nash’s Jose Salazar earned a major decision to put the Firebirds on the board. Sierra responded with a 6-2 decision over Nash’s Trevon Baker. Medley pinned Colton Brisbee at 3:03 to increase Orange’s lead to 27-4.

Crawford pinned Chris Navigate in 1:35 at 126 pounds. Hutchins earned his fifth technical fall of the season, beating Jaden Edwards 16-0. Musser pinned Jason Edawards at 4:47 in the 145 pound match.

C.B. Aycock defeated Carrboro 77-6 in the opening round.

Orange’s state quarterfinal match against Swansboro will start Wednesday afternoon at 5:30, as will Union Pines’ match against First Flight.

Orange sprints past Cedar Ridge 72-44 behind Cloer’s 16 points; Taylor leads Red Wolves with 22

Photo by Erik Perel 

In a season where youth usurped experience for playing time on the Orange men’s basketball team, the Panthers game against Cedar Ridge served as a thank you to the veterans from head coach Derryl Britt.

Transitions don’t always go smoothly when three freshmen replace three seniors in the starting lineup. Yet it’s led to the Panthers’ most successful season in six years and a large part of that comes from the unselfishness of seniors Darius Corbett, Kaleb Barnhardt, Isaiah Seymour, Thomas Loch, and Caleb Barreto.

On Friday night, all of those seniors started as Orange defeated Cedar Ridge 72-44. It was a taste of revenge for Corbett and Loch. In 2021, during the pandemic year when virtually no fans were allowed to games, the Red Wolves swept the Panthers, both times coming back from double-digit deficits to win.

Orange freshman Coleman Coler led Orange (15-6, 7-2 in the Central Carolina Conference) with 16 points. Barreto, who transferred from Wake Forest last summer, had a season-high 12 points.

Cedar Ridge senior Colton Taylor led all scorers with 22 points, but he was the only Red Wolf in double-figures.

“I was happy for my seniors tonight,” Britt said. “I love playing them together as a unit. It brings some intensity and they deserve it. Unfortunately for those guys, we had an infusion of talent and size. The way the seniors have handled this situation has been classy. I just wanted to bless the seniors tonight and have them start since it was the last time they would play Cedar Ridge.”

Orange is in sole possession of second place in the Central Carolina Conference after Person’s loss to Walter Williams on Friday night. The Rockets and the Panthers will meet on Tuesday night in Hillsborough.

Jonovan Wingate started the game hot for Cedar Ridge. He drained his first two 3-pointers to jolt the Red Wolves ahed 6-2 in the opening minutes. The hot shooting didn’t last for Cedar Ridge, who finished at 25% from the field.

Barreto’s 3-pointer off a feed from Barnhardt gave Orange a 8-6 lead, but Taylor’s foot never left the gas pedal . He drained two free throws to tie the game. Corbett drained back-to-back field goals to close the first quarter, assisted by Barnhardt and Barreto, respectively, to give Orange a 13-10 lead at the end of the first quarter.

When the second quarter started, Orange put in Cloer, freshman Kai Wade, junior Ryan Honeycutt, freshman Mason Robinson and sophomore Xandrell Pennix. Yet the Red Wolves opened the frame with six straight points, including Wingate’s third 3-pointer to cap a four-point possession that started with a free throw from sophomore Landon Dalehite. Taylor’s lay-in off a pass from Hayden Kirk gave the Red Wolves a 16-13 lead.

Orange went on a 12-0 run to take control midway through the second quarter.  It started when Wade scored four straight points, including sinking a pull-up 15-footer. Robinson slammed home a dunk off a pass from Honeycutt. To complete the run, Honeycutt scored on a two-hand dunk off a pass from Cloer.

Orange’s frontline, which includes the 6’6″ Honeycutt, 6’7 Robinson and 6’6″ Cloer, made it impossible for the Red Wolves to get anything established inside. Orange outrebounded Cedar Ridge 50-42, including 19-to-11 on the offensive glass.

“It’s coming along,” said Orange coach Derryl Britt of his team’s inside game. “It’s something we’ve been harping on all year. The last few games we’ve really made a conscious effort. The guys have brought in to what we’re trying to do and they believe in what we’re trying to do.”

Orange piled up the offensive rebounds in the third quarter. The Red Wolves were held to six shots from the field while the Panthers had six offensive rebounds. On defense, Orange forced six Cedar Ridge turnovers. The Red Wolves didn’t score a field goal in the opening 5:09 of the second half.

All of this took place in front of the largest crowd of the season for Orange, where the student section was packed. That presence would be greatly welcomed by Orange’s coaches for its home game on Tuesday night against Person, which could decide 2nd place in the Central Carolina Conference, as well as a potential home game in the 3A State Playoffs and a potential semifinal game in the upcoming Central Carolina Conference tournament.

“To be honest, I don’t know how big the crowd is,” Britt said. “I love the energy of a big crowd, but once the game starts, I’m oblivious to the crowd. I kind of block that stuff out.”


CR–10  16  6   12-44

OR–13  25   11  23-72

CEDAR RIDGE–Jonovan Wingate 9, Colton Taylor 22, Harrison Perel 1, Landon Dalehite 5, Colton Wingate 3, Hayden Kirk 4.

ORANGE–Kaleb Barnhardt 1, Isaiah Seymour 2, Thomas Loch 2, Darius Corbett 7, Caleb Barreto 12, Mason Robinson 5, Malachi Poole 3, Kai Wade 11, Coleman Cloer 16, Ryan Moss 5, Ryan Honeycutt 8.

3-pointers–CEDAR RIDGE 5 (C. Wingate, J. Wingate 3, Taylor) ORANGE 5 (Wade, Barreto 2, Cloer 2)



Atkins scores 15 to power Orange women past Cedar Ridge 46-37; Ware leads Red Wolves with 32

Photo by Bernard Thomas 

At halftime of its game against Orange on Friday night, the Cedar Ridge women’s basketball team had filled the three requirements to pull off an upset:

  1. They had gotten Orange center Erin Jordan-Cornell in foul trouble.
  2. They had kept Jordan-Cornell from scoring a field goal in the first half.
  3. They had the obligatory huge half from guard Amiyah Ware.

Unfortunately for Cedar Ridge, the Lady Panthers were able to regroup in the second half even if Ware never did cool off.

The most encouraging sign for Orange coach B.J. Condron was the player who led the charge to his team’s 11th win of the season provided a glimpse into the Lady Panthers’ future.

Freshman Addie Atkins had a career-high 15 points, including 5-of-10 shooting from 3-point range to push the Lady Panthers back from a eight-point deficit to defeat Cedar Ridge 46-37 at Red Wolves Arena. Sophomore Evelyn George finished with her fourth double-double of the season, racking up a season-high 18 rebounds to go along with 13 points.

Orange senior Jada Reed scored nine, including 3-of-8 shooting from 3-point range.

Ware, who set the school record with 37 points against Eastern Alamance on January 6, finished with 32 points. In fact, after Cameron Copeland opened the game for Cedar Ridge with a three-pointer on its opening possession, Ware scored the final 12 field goals for the Red Wolves. Koryn Shearin was the only other Red Wolf to score.

Orange has now defeated Cedar Ridge in eight straight matchups.

The Red Wolves were going for its first win over Orange since January 7, 2019. They got off to a good start opening with a 8-0 run. After Copeland’s 3-pointer, Ware drained two free throws and sank a running one-hander off a block by Annora Leaf.

George responded with five straight points for the Lady Panthers, including a 3-pointer from the wing and a stickback basket on Orange’s subsequent possession. Ware came back with a 3-pointer, but Orange’s Jada Reed responded with a shot from downtown of her own.

Orange went dry in the second quarter, shooting just one-of-eight from the field. Jordan-Cornell picked up her second foul, which forced her to the bench with just one point. The Lady Panthers went the final 6:15 of the first half without a field goal. Ware scored all six of the Red Wolves’ points in the frame, which was enough for Cedar Ridge to carry a 22-16 lead into halftime.

After Ware opened the second half by converting a pull-up 15-footer, Orange’s outside game went to work to gradually draw the Lady Panthers closer. Atkins scored from downtown off a skip pass from Reed. Jordan-Cornell scored her first field goal with 3:45 remaining in the third quarter off a pass from George. Reed sank another 3-pointer from an assist from senior Nikayla Whitted. George tied the game for the first time at 27-27 after she scored a field goal and was fouled by Cedar Ridge’s Addie Reid in the final seconds of the third quarter.

Orange (11-10, 4-5 in the Central Carolina Conference) shot 6-of-12 from the field in the fourth quarter, including three 3-pointers. Reed put Orange ahead with her third 3-pointer off a pass from Atkins, which triggered a 9-0 run that put the game away. Atkins added another shot from downtown while Jordan-Cornell scored after a block from George. Atkins’ final 3-pointer with 3:10 remaining put Orange ahead 39-30.

Orange will host Person on Tuesday night in Hillsborough at 6PM.

Cedar Ridge (3-14, 2-7) will face Eastern Alamance on Tuesday night at 6PM in Red Wolves Arena. Cedar Ridge has added a home game against Durham School of the Arts for its senior night on February 8. It will be the final home game for seniors Cierra Copeland, Cameron Copeland, Beysi Acensio and Deepmala Ford-Williams.


Orange’s Darius Corbett & Caleb Barreto discuss basketball win over Cedar Ridge

It was a nice win for the Orange men’s basketball seniors in the Panthers’ 72-44 win over Cedar Ridge on Friday night in Hillsborough. All five of the Panthers’ senior started for head coach Derryl Britt. Darius Corbett scored eight points as the Panthers guaranteed themselves its first winning season in six years. Meanwhile, Caleb Barretto scored ten points, a season-best. Orange is now 14-6, it’s best mark since the 2016-17 season. It was a gratifying win for Corbett, who has been a member of the varsity basketball team since his freshman year. He lost his first four games to Cedar Ridge. Now, he has beaten the Red Wolves four straight times. Barretto is a transfer from Wake Forest who actually played against Orange last January. Corbett had seven points, five rebounds and q block. He is also an All-Central Carolina Conference selection in soccer. Orange is 6-2 in the Central Carolina Conference. Next up, Orange will have a critical matchup against Person on Tuesday night in Hillsborough to conclude a four-game homestead. The Panthers and the Rockets are tied for second place in the CCC. The winner will have an inside track on hosting a game in the opening round of the 3A State Playoffs.

Alumni Update: Alvis Whitted leaves University of Wisconsin for Utah

Photo courtesy of 24/7 Sports: 

Alvis Whitted: After three seasons as the wide receivers coach at the University of Wisconsin, former Orange High wide receiver Alvis Whitted joined the staff at the University of Utah this week. Whitted departs Madison after former Badgers head coach Paul Chryst was fired in September. He will be the wide receivers coach with the Utes. Whitted is the only Orange High player to ever play in a Super Bowl. In 2003, Whitted played special teams for the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After retiring in 2006, Whitted served as an assistant coach for Orange. He has since served as an assistant at UCLA. For seven years, Whitted was the wide receivers coach for Colorado State before he joined the Green Bay Packers under head coach Matt LaFleur. During his time with Wisconsin, the Badgers won bowl games in each of the last three season. Whitted was a wide receiver at Orange under head coach Greg Gentry and was also a PAC-6 Conference champion sprinter. Whitted started his NFL career with the Jacksonville Jaguars in 1998. He spent four seasons with Jacksonville before he left to spend one season with the Atlanta Falcons in 2002. He was a member of the last Orange team to win a game in the 4A State Playoffs in 1991 when the Panthers defeated J.H. Rose in Greenville.

Braden Homsey: Homsey won his 100th career match for Division III Ferrum College during the Pete Wilson Invitational in Wheaton, IL. Competing in the 197-pound tournament, Homsey opened with a win over Jackson Beck-Calvert of Adrian College via pinfall in 4:00. Homsey advanced to the quarterfinals after he defeated Treyten Steffen of Cornell College in an 11-5 decision. Homsey got to the semifinals after he edged Chase Melton of Wisconsin-Eau Claire 3-2. Jarrod Setliff of Otterbein University defeated Homsey 6-5. In the consolation semifinals, Homsey earned the win via a medical forfeit against Jesse Kanatzar of John Carroll University. In the 3rd place match, Gabriel Zierden of Concordia College Morehead edged Homsey 3-2. Ferrum placed 17 of 31 teams.

Jamar Davis: Now a graduate student at N.C. State, Davis started his final year with the Wolfpack’s indoor track and field team earlier this month. At the Virginia Tech Invitational in Blacksburg, VA, Davis finished 2nd in the triple jump with a leap of 15.14 meters. Only Chauncey Chambers of Virginia Tech finished ahead of Davis. In the long jump, Davis finished 4th with a top jump of 7.47 meters. This weekend, Davis competed in the Bob Pollock Meet in Clemson, SC. Davis finished 5th in the triple jump. His top leap was 14.87 meters.

Joey McMullin: The Sandhills Community College men’s basketball team ran past Mountain Gateway Community College 127-75 on Friday in Clifton Forge, VA. McMullin led Sandhills with 21 points, including scoring ten straight points in the first half. Sandhills is ranked #1 in the National Junior College Athletic Association Division III. On Monday, Sandhills head coach Mike Apple will go for career win #300 when Sandhills faces Hines Prep. On Wednesday, Sandhills defeated Central Carolina Community College 110-55. McMullin finished with 16 points in eleven minutes. He also had three rebounds and two assists. On January 21, Sandhills rolled past Oxford College at Emory University 104-77. McMullin scored 20 points off 8-of-13 shooting from the field. He also had four rebounds, a steal and a block. On October 19, McMullin scored 14 points as the Flyers defeated the Methodist junior varsity team 100-64 in Fayetteville. McMullin shot 7-of-11 from the field. He also had six rebounds. On January 16, Sandhills hammered Hosanna Bible College 106-46. McMullen had 14 points, five rebounds and one assist. The Flyers have won eight in a row and are 20-3 overall. They are 3-0 in Region X of the NJCCA.



Orange’s Katie Belle Sikes, Riley White, Ainsley Rasinske & Piper White discuss wins at CCC Championships

The Orange women’s swimming relay team was a big reason why the Lady Panthers were able to win the Central Carolina Conference team championship. On Thursday night, the team of junior Katie Belle Sikes, freshman Ainsley Rasinske, junior Riley White and freshman Piper White teamed to win the gold medals in the 200 yard medley relay and the 200 yard freestyle relay. Sikes had another big night in the conference championships, winning four gold medals. She captured the 100 yard freestyle and the 100 yard backstroke. Riley White won the gold medal in the 50 yard freestyle. She also took home the silver medal in the 100 yard butterfly. Piper White won the silver medal in the 200 yard freestyle. The Orange women’s team, which finished fourth last year in the CCC Championships, took first place. They became the fifth sports team from Orange this year to win a Central Carolina Conference title. Sikes, Rasinske, Piper White and Riley White will team together during the 3A Central Regional championships on Friday at the Greensboro Aquatic Center.