Orr’s Greg Outlaw has a rare combination of power and touch. He’s one of the city’s toughest post players but also has a feathery midrange jump shot.
Both of those facets of his game were on display in the Spartans’ 72-53 win at Lane on Friday. Outlaw scored 16 points and had six rebounds.
The 6-4 senior was only able to enjoy the win for a few quick minutes though. On the walk back to the locker room he received some tragic news that made basketball seem inconsequential.
“His grandmother died during the game but we didn’t tell him until after the game,” Orr coach Lou Adams said. “We have heavy hearts, we will pray for him.”
Outlaw broke down crying. His teammates and all of the Orr coaches surrounded him in support.
“We have to rally around him and take care of him,” Adams said.
It was an eventful game in many ways for the Spartans. Sherif Kenney, Orr’s star transfer, scored seven points and dominated play for a half.
He injured his ankle early in the third quarter and didn’t return. Lane (13-7, 4-4 Red-North/West) cut the Spartans’ lead to 36-32 with six minutes left in the third but wasn’t able to sustain the threat.
Sophomore Terrance Ford stepped in for Kenney and righted the ship. He finished with 13 points.
“It felt good,” Ford said. “The coaches trust me and the team trusts me and that is very important.”
Senior Tujautae Williams had 12 points and six rebounds for Orr (15-7, 7-0). He’s one of the city’s flashiest players. His two high-flying dunks in the second half brought the crowd to its feet.
“At first we played at their speed but then we started moving the ball better and played as a team and made them play at our speed,” Williams said. “Terrence Ford was big. That was the best game I’ve seen him play.”
Williams, a 6-6 senior, has picked up a handful of high-major scholarship offers during the season.
“[The offers] just make everything feel lighter,” Williams said. “I brought the team together and tried to show leadership tonight.”
The Spartans have had a strange season, waiting on transfers to become eligible and battling injuries. But nothing seems to be slowing them down. Young players like Terrance Ford are stepping up and veteran role players like Terry Williams, who scored 11 points, are becoming solid starters.
“It has been tough, we have a had a lot of injuries and still haven’t put it together,” Adams said. “But we are heading in the right direction.”
Johnny Colombo led Lane with 16 points and Vuk Djuric added 10 points and four rebounds. Eric Stemper added nine points and six rebounds and junior Louis Perona scored eight and grabbed seven boards.
Adams, who had never coached at Lane before, was impressed with the new addition to the conference.
“I’ve never come this far north,” Adams joked. “They aren’t building something here, they have already built it. That was like a college atmosphere, that was a heck of a crowd.”