Orr enjoyed the last run. Lavonte Sutton engineered his own turnaround.
Benched for committing too many turnovers earlier in the game, the Orr guard scored 12 of his game-high 17 points in the fourth quarter as the Spartans overcame a nine-point deficit in pulling out 65-62 victory over De La Salle in the Big City Classic Saturday at DePaul.
He drilled a 3-pointer and a pull-up jumper in scoring eight points during an 18-6 run that nullified the Meteors’ 46-37 advantage to start the fourth quarter. His jumper from the top of the key marked the game’s sixth and final lead change.
“I knew that I had to keep my composure,” Sutton said. “I was turning the ball over too much earlier and I had to sit down. I knew I had to keep my head in the game and my shots would start to fall.”
Freshman emerging star Raekwon Drake secured the victory by blocking a 3-point attempt by Christian Hayes at the buzzer. The 6-5 leaper posted a double-double with 11 points, 11 rebounds and five blocked shots for the Spartans (12-3).
The game featured multiple runs only for the other side to offer an effective counter. Coming off Friday’s emotional victory over Young, Orr struggled to sustain its attack or find a consistent offensive rhythm in watching De La Salle run out to the early 12-3 lead.
It proved just the start of the volatile swings. A 13-0 first quarter run allowed Orr to build a 33-26 lead at the break despite its nine first half turnovers. Neither team enjoyed prosperity, making for dramatic strategic shifts.
De La Salle (9-7) forced four turnovers on Orr to start the third quarter as the Meteors strung together two separate 10-0 bursts in assuming control. Senior guard Karl Harris attacked the basket with abandon in scoring 12 of his 16 points in the quarter. He added six blocks, two assists and two steals.
Senior guard Darryl Curry added 13 points and three steals for the Spartans. He is one of the few returning players from the Spartans’ teams that finished third and fourth in Class 3A the last two years. His three-point play with just over two minutes pushed the Spartans’ edge to 58-51.
“We played well as a team,” Curry said. “Coach Lou (Adams) always tells us to play hard and that’s what we did. We started moving the ball and playing together and our shots started to fall.”
Hayes scored a team-best 17 points and nearly brought the Meteors back single-handedly by converting three free throws and nailing a 3-pointer from the right wing with 12 seconds remaining for a single-possession game.
He stole the Spartans’ inbounds and had two 3-point looks, the first hit off the edge and his follow up was blocked by Drake.
Iowa recruit Brandon Hutton contributed 12 points, five rebounds and three steals for the Meteors. Poor free-throw shooting doomed the Meteors, who missed 7-of-9 attempts in the first half and 15 (11-of-26) for the game.
“Defense, defense, defense, that’s what changed the game for us,” Curry said.