Why change what works?
Chapel Hill used the same formula it’s used to win six straight Big 8 girls basketball games and ran past Orange for a 62-40 victory Tuesday night in the the Tigers’ home gym.
Chapel Hill (17-5 overall, 8-2 conference) used a trapping defense to force Orange (6-14, 3-7) into 17 turnovers and scored 28 points with the Tigers’ fast-break offense, slowing down only in the game’s final 4 minutes, 30 seconds, to ice the win with a Four Corners delay offense.
“They transition very well to the offensive end,” Orange head coach B.J. Condron said. “They push the ball really well. When you watch their girls on the floor, they sprint, hard, up the court. We had trouble keeping up.”
Chapel Hill also went to the glass hard, out-rebounding the Panthers 36-27.
“That doesn’t help,” Condron said.
Mariah Jacobs hit a 3-pointer while scoring 7 points in a span of just 98 seconds to help Chapel Hill open up a 10-point lead in the first half. Her layup with 4 minutes left in the second quarter gave Chapel Hill a 35-25 lead, and the Tigers led 43-31 at halftime.
Orange went stone-cold in the third quarter, hitting just 2-of-13 tries from the field. The Panthers had as many turnovers (4) as points (4) in the third.
The Panthers got as close as 49-38 on a 3-pointer by Adalyn Fleming with 7 minutes, 26 seconds left to play, but Chapel Hill pulled away by scoring on six of its last eight possessions.
Chapel Hill’s win completed a season-sweep of the Panthers. The Tigers won 57-43 Jan. 8 in Hillsborough.
Chapel Hill closes its regular season with two more home games – Friday against Northern Vance and then Tuesday, Feb. 9, against Southern Durham.
Orange closes out with a game Friday at Northwood, at home next Tuesday against Oxford Webb, and then Feb. 11 at Graham
Orange was tied with Chapel Hill at 14, with almost 3 minutes left in the first quarter, after a runner-and-one 3-point play by Panther ninth-grader Lauren Gates. Chapel Hill’s Autumn West answered with two fast-break layups and Mariah Jacons scored another off a steal to open up a 20-14 lead, and Orange never caught up.
Three to know
Autumn West, Chapel Hill: Her 5 steals helped her score 17 points, and her team-high 8 rebounds helped Chapel Hill score 14 second-chance points.
Alliyah Chaplin, Chapel Hill: The Chapel Hill sophomore came close to another double-double, with a 19 points to lead the game’s scoring, plus 7 boards. Usually aggressive under the boards, Chaplin backed off for more jumpers than layups after picking up her fourth foul midway through the second half.
Mariah Jacobs, Chapel Hill: One of three senior starters for Chapel Hill (along with West and captain Anna Grace Kelley), Jacobs was 5-for-9 on two-point tries in scoring 13 points for the Tigers. She and her classmates also helped hold Cates scoreless in the second half after the Orange freshman scored a team-high 8 points before halftime.
And one more
Mia Davidson, Orange: One of six juniors on her team’s 11-player roster, Davidson scored 12 points and was the lone Panther to get into double digits. She had 6 of Orange’s 9 points in the second half.
By the numbers
50: percent shooting from the field for Chapel Hill’s West (7-14) and Jacobs 6-12).
38: percent shooting on Chapel Hill 3-point tries (3-8).
6: straight wins in Big 8 games for Chapel Hill, helping the Tigers keep pace with league-leading Southern Durham. The Spartans were 15-5, 8-2 going into a game Tuesday night at Northern Vance (2-14, 0-8).
They said it
“We’ve been getting better every game, because our basketball IQ has been improving, and we’re making better decisions.” – Chapel Hill head coach Sherry Norris