Orr’s Raekwon Drake has been one of the state’s most athletic and exhilarating players for the past four years. He’s a human highlight reel type of player, flying through the air dunking and swatting away shots.
One thing he isn’t known as is a shooter.
But with the game and the Red-North/West title on the line, his best friend and teammate Dannie Smith trusted his shooting ability.
Smith drove to the basket with six seconds to play in overtime and dished to the ball to Drake, who drained a midrange jumper to win the game for Orr.
“The entire game, whenever we drove the lane they were helping,” Smith said. “I just trusted Rae. I knew he would finish and bring us home.”
Drake’s jumper put Orr ahead by one. On the next possession Young’s Xavier Castaneda drove the length of the floor but was unable to get a shot off and turned the ball over. Smith was fouled and hit two free throws with 0.5 seconds to left to seal a 77-74 win.
“All the college coaches say I can’t shoot but I’ve been working on my shot,” Drake said. “I’ve improved my midrange and my three-point shot. When Dannie trusted me with it I was confident I could handle it.”
Smith finished with 22 points and seven rebounds. Drake had 16 points, five rebounds and five blocks. Senior Ty Mosely added 15 points and eight rebounds for the Spartans (19-3, 9-0).
Point guard Chase Adams scored 14 for Orr, but his biggest contribution came on defense. Castaneda scored 14 of his 24 points in the first half. Adams was able to slow him down a bit in the second half.
“At halftime I told everybody I was going to take the challenge of guarding him,” Adams said. “I said I was going to stop him. I wanted to be a pest and get him out of the game, basically.”
Young (18-6, 7-2) had the ball and a chance to win at the end of regulation. The Dolphins drained 40 seconds off the clock but didn’t get off a shot.
“I’m not sure what happened with them, but I’m happy they didn’t shoot it,” Orr coach Lou Adams said. “It scared me.”
There were four technical fouls in the game. Both Adams and Young coach Tyrone Slaughter picked up technicals and were forced to remain seated for most of the game.
“We have to play through it with Lou down,” Smith said. “Lou has our back so we have to have his back. When he has to sit down that just makes us play harder.”
Myles Baker scored 14 points for the Dolphins and star forward Javon Freeman was held to nine.
“We knew if we could contain Freeman we would have a good chance of winning,” Adams said. “He’s athletic and can really get going and hurt you. But that didn’t happen tonight, which helped us.”
Orr also beat Young at the end of December in the championship game of the Proviso West Holiday Tournament.
“This means way more, it is the conference championship and helps our seed in the city playoffs,” Smith said. “This is a huge win, even bigger than Proviso West.”