Orr knows if it is going to win the city championship, it must share the ball and defend at a high level.
The No. 6 Spartans did both of those things on Wednesday night, taking the first step in achieving their title goals by knocking off visiting Prosser 75-47 in the opening round of the Public League Playoffs.
“We have about nine good basketball players, so when we pass and can share the ball, we are amazing,” coach Lou Adams said. “We passed it well (on Wednesday) and that’s why we were pretty good.”
Prosser hung around early, even taking a lead midway through the first quarter, before the Spartans pulled away. Orr went on a 27-9 run, stretching from the end of the first quarter through the final minutes of the second, essentially putting the game out of reach.
Much of its success came from pressure defense, as the Spartans forced turnovers on five straight possessions during one stretch, leading to fast-break dunks and layups.
All five starters scored in double-figures for Orr (18-2), led by 16 points from Marlon Jones.
“We knew that Prosser wasn’t going to be able to keep up with us,” said forward Tyquone Greer, who had 12 points, including a four-point play at the start of the big run. “We want to dominate all our opponents, no matter who they are. They’ll take any life they can get, so we wanted to close them out when we could.”
Though their balanced offense was a key in this game, the Spartans want to be known for their defense. Against the Falcons (14-10), the team was eager to jump into passing lanes and go for blocked shots, putting the pressure on their opponents.
Prosser handled it early, making four three-pointers in the first quarter. However, they made only three more long-distance shots the remainder of the game.
“Our defense is important. That’s something we stress and hang our hat on,” Orr guard Demetrius Dortch said. “We don’t really stress offense, we want to be known for our defense.”
The win was impressive, with Adams calling it “the best defense we have played throughout the year.” Still, senior-laden team isn’t satisfied.
“We know this is our last year and we have to work hard,” said Dortch. “We don’t want to go home, so we’ll all stay in the gym, work hard and try to win this thing.”