Orr punches ticket to Peoria


Orr celebrates after winning the Super-Sectional game to advance to the state finals, March 7, 2017 Allen Cunningham / for Chicago Sun-Times

Orr is heading to state.

Spartans junior Dannie Smith continued his breakout season on Tuesday. The forward, who has only played basketball for two years, scored 25 points to lead the Spartans to a 72-34 win against Collins in the Class 2A Joliet Central Supersectional.

“Smith is one of the best players in the state now,” Orr coach Lou Adams said. “There’s a lot of talk about other guys, but Dannie has become something special. He’s 6-5 and can shoot it and handle the ball.”

Smith grabbed 15 rebounds and shot 12 for 13 from the free throw line.

Alex Flute scored 11 and high-flying junior Raekwon Drake added 10 for Orr.

This is Spartan’s third trip to Peoria in the past five seasons. Coach Lou Adams led Orr to fourth place finish in Class 3A in 2013 and a third place finish in Class 3A in 2014. Those teams were loaded with Division I talent, but Adams now thinks his current group will surpass them.

“These guys are more poised and a little tougher than those teams were,” Adams said. “They practice hard and it makes a difference. And they are just juniors so the future is bright.”

Collins, which won the White-West, was led by Terwon Matthews (14 points) and Kamal Hill (eight points).

Orr will play Monticello in the state semifinals on Friday at 7:15 at Carver Arena in Peoria. The Sages beat Quincy Notre Dame 51-49 in the Springfield Supersectional.

Hope Academy beat East Dubuque 50-33 in a Class 1A Supersectional on Tuesday. That gives Chicago a chance to win state titles in all four classes.

“It could happen,” Adams said. “I think for us, this could the team that does it.”

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