In a 24-hour period filled with adversity, Southern Durham’s boys basketball team emerged with the lead in the Big 8 Conference.
Despite losing leading scorer J’Tori Christmas just 80 seconds into the game with an injured ankle, the Spartans defeated Orange 79-62 in a battle of teams tied for first in the Big 8. Antonio Daye led Southern with 27 points, while Jujuan Whitted added 23.
It was the third game in three days for the Spartans (14-3, 9-1), who suffered a 70-65 loss to Cedar Ridge on Thursday night in Hillsborough.
Southern coach Kendrick Hall missed the first half of that loss to the Red Wolves because his wife was in an automobile accident in Durham. Hall had to deliver a pregame message to his team via FaceTime.
On Friday, Hall’s family at home was safe and sound, while his family on the court raced out to a 10-2 lead despite Christmas’ sudden injury. He never returned and left the court on crutches.
Orange was led by Logan Vosburg’s 18 points. Connor Crabtree fouled out with 5:12 remaining with 13 points.
Orange whittled a 21-point deficit to 7 after Crabtree scored on a 3-point play. On the next possession, Whitted canned a 3-pointer, and added a stick-back possession on the subsequent play.