Tigers spread offense in win over Panthers
When Chapel Hill coach Tod Morgan was asked whether his team played good defense in its 52-30 victory over Orange on Friday night or if it was simply bad basketball, the coach was non-committal.
“I hope to say it’s good defense,” said Morgan, whose team did not give up a field goal in the third quarter. “We spend 60 percent of our practice practicing defense. And so I hope it’s because we played well.”
The game was competitive in the first half, as Sean Motley hit two early 3-pointers to give Orange a 6-2 lead in the first quarter. Chapel Hill (15-5, 4-1 Carolina 6) answered with an 11-0 run, capped by John Walden’s back-door pass to Stephen Himmelberg Jr. for a score.
Motley hit a running shot as the first-quarter clock expired to make the score 13-8 to account for all of Orange’s points in the period. He finished with a game-high 14 points.
Orange (6-11, 1-4) spread the scoring around in the second quarter, with five Panthers contributing. But Chapel Hill opened up a seven-point lead headed into halftime.
Then both teams struggled through the third quarter.
“We certainly talked about things with our team at halftime and made some adjustments,” Morgan said.
Chapel Hill struggled to find the bottom of the net, with Anthony Vanhook and Brian Thornton scoring two points apiece to account for all of the Tigers’ offense. Orange was still in the game despite scoring only one point on a Motley free throw.
The fourth quarter was nothing more than ceremonial, as Orange failed to narrow the deficit. Vanhook tossed Treshawn Craig an alley-oop dunk for the highlight reel, and Himmelberg sank eight fourth-quarter free throws to seal the victory.
The Tigers also dominated the boards, out-rebounding the Panthers 24-13. Elliot Orenstein and Ryan Hegedus grabbing seven rebounds apiece.
“I like where we’re at right now,” Morgan said of the Tigers’ second-place position in the Carolina 6, its only loss coming to first-place Oxford Webb. “We’re not looking to Webb yet. We’ve got Southern Vance on Tuesday. They’ll be tough.”
Chapel Hill 52, Orange 30
ORANGE — Sean Motley 14, Jawan Chambers 5, Jalen Pittman 4, J.D. Brooks 3, Brandon Frye 2, Keegan Crabtree 2.
CHAPEL HILL — Stephen Himmelberg Jr. 12, Elliot Orenstein 9, Brian Thornton 9, Ryan Hegedus 7, Anthony Vanhook 6, Treshawn Craig 6, Shane Turner 3.