Orange upset in 3-A boys' final four by No. 2 seed Wilson Hunt

Mar. 08, 2014 @ 11:13 PM

In a game as balanced as this one, the outcome was bound to come down to a few winning plays.

Wilson’s Hunt High School got the better end of that deal during the 3-A Eastern Regional championship game at Crown Coliseum on Saturday.

The Warriors beat the Orange Panthers 66-60 and will play for a state championship on Saturday.

“We had to put the ball in the hole to beat them, and we didn’t do that well,” Orange coach Greg Motley said.

Orange shot 37.3 percent from the field. Hunt was better at 41.4 percent.

Orange scored 15 points off turnovers; Hunt scored 20.

Orange’s bench produced three points, while Hunt’s was a little better with seven points.

Hunt coach Dwight Taylor said his players were forcing things early on. The Warriors had to settle down, he said.

“Once we got in a good rhythm, I thought they got more comfortable,” Taylor said.

Orange was pressuring Hunt’s point guard, so the Warriors spread the floor to open the lane for penetration, Taylor said.

That’s just what Orange wanted to avoid — allowing the Warriors to get to the rim, Motley said.

Hunt wanted to keep Orange guard Jawan Chambers from going off, Taylor said.

“He was a big focal point coming in — he and (Keegan) Crabtree,” Taylor said. “We know those guys could put up some points.”

Chambers had 12 points, and Crabtree had 15.

Orange senior J.D. Brooks (14 points, 9 rebounds) said the Panthers committed too many turnovers.

The Panthers had 19 turnovers. The Warriors had two. That’s not a wide difference.

Again, though, in a game as tight as this one, the margin for error was slim.

Inclement weather kept Orange from practicing Friday. Motley said that impacted the team’s preparation, but he wasn’t making excuses.

NOTES — Chambers and Orange guard Eryk Brandon-Dean made the 3-A Eastern Regional all-tournament team. Hunt was represented by tournament most valuable player Keenan Tabron, Justin Jefferson and Quan Kent. Havelock’s Kyran Bowman also made the squad.


No. 2 WILSON HUNT 66, No. 1 ORANGE 60

NCHSAA Boys’ 3-A East Region Championship

Wilson Hunt     16     8     24     18  — 66

Orange     14     13     12     21 — 60

WILSON HUNT — Jaylen Gilliam 4, Keenan Tabron 16, Justin Jefferson 10, Orlando Dickens 1, Ra’Shod Shipman 2, Quan Kent 17, Josh Willingham 9, Dexter Wright 7.

ORANGE — Eryk Brandon-Dean 12, A.J. Bradsher 0, Tay Jones 5, Keegan Crabtree 15, Jeff Campbell 2, Jawan Chambers 12, J.D. Brooks 14, Jace Jordan-Cornell 0, Connor Crabtree 0, C.J. Brown 0.

3-point FG — Hunt 2-10 (Jefferson 1-3, Wright 1-1); Orange 5-13 (K. Crabtree 3-5, Chambers 2-6). Rebounds — Hunt 36 (Willingham 9); Orange 39 (Brooks 9). Assists — Hunt 7 (Kent 4); Orange 9 (Brandon-Dean 4). Steals — Hunt 7 (Kent 3); Orange 9 (Brandon-Dean 5). Blocks — Hunt 5 (Willingham 2); Orange 3 (Brooks 2).  Turnovers — Hunt 17 (Tabron 5, Kent 4); Orange 19 (Chambers 4, Brandon-Dean 4). FG — Hunt 24-58 (.414); Orange 22-59 (.373). FT — Hunt 16-22 (.727), Orange 11-16 (.688).

Records — Wilson Hunt 25-3, Orange 26-6.