Orr basketball is probably the closest thing around to Shakespeare, with its familial drama and court intrigue.
The Spartans rarely offer a dull moment and more often than not the action off the floor is just as compelling as what happens on the floor.
Orr provided a little bit of everything Wednesday: up and down play, emotional exchanges on the court and the discipling of two new players off the court.
Senior guard Lou Adams Jr. and senior 6-8 wing forward Marlon Jones took turns dominating as the No. 5 Spartans built a 16-point first-half lead and withstood several Westinghouse rallies to run past the Warriors 64-53.
It was just the third Chicago-area appearance this season by the Spartans (8-1, 2-0 Red-West).
Orr coach Lou Adams Sr. is demanding and unstinting. In a game that promised the unveiling of highly-regarded transfers Sire Caroll (Farragut) and Issaiah Hayes (Crane), Adams Sr. benched both for missing practice.
Adams Sr. has often talked about how difficult it is to coach his own son. The two got into a heated shouting match on the floor in the second quarter. “It’s all love between us,” Adams Jr. said. “That comes out of the fact we both are very competitive and want to do so well.”
Adams Jr. scored 10 of his game-high 17 points in the first quarter as the Spartans used a 9-0 run to lead 19-10 at the quarter’s end. “I was hot early, and I told my teammates I was hot, and to get me the ball and that’s what they did,” Adams Jr. said.
In a dispute over the exact number of Adams Jr. fouls — the Orr book said three, the Westinghouse book said four — the guard sat out the opening 13 minutes of the second half. That allowed Jones to step up.
Jones scored 10 of his 16 points in the third quarter. He added nine rebounds and six blocked shots. Jones is coming off the most valuable player award at a Detroit tournament the Spartans captured.
After Jones was limited to two points in the first half, Adams Sr. also admonished him at halftime to play harder and more aggressive.
“Coach got on me and said I was just out there, taking up space and not really playing,” Jones said. “I knew I had to go out there in the third quarter and make my presence felt, because Westinghouse didn’t have anybody big enough to guard me.”
Westinghouse (9-5, 1-3) was coming off a 4-1 Proviso West Holiday Tournament record and consolation title. Senior guard De’Quaniss Jackson was issued his second foul five minutes into the game and sat out the remainder of the half as Orr led 30-20 at the break.
Jackson returned in the third quarter and sparked a Warriors rally. He scored seven of his 12 points in the third quarter. Senior guard Darrell Ivy scored 10 of his team-best 14 points in the second half.
Ivy and forward Marlik Williams (13 points) drilled three-pointers to end the third quarter and start the fourth quarter that cut the 16-point Orr lead to 47-39 early in the fourth quarter. In a key sequence, Jones scored on an inside post move and was fouled. He missed the free throw but Orr regained possession and Jones scored again on his own putback to restore the Spartans’ double-digit lead.
“Jones has a chance to be one of the best big men in the city, as talented as [Jahlil] Okafor and [Cliff] Alexander, but he doesn’t love the game the way those two do,” Adams Sr. said. “I challenged him at halftime and he played great in that third quarter.”
Adams Jr. returned with just over five minutes to play and scored six quick points to put the game out of reach. He punctuated the victory with a big tomahawk dunk. Senior Tyqone Greer and junior Donell Williams added six point apiece for the Spartans.
Orr travels to Kentucky to play against 7-foot Thon Maker, the No. 1-rated sophomore in the country in a Friday shootout.
Derrick Patrick added 10 points for the Warriors.