February 10th – It was a tale of two halves, and a winning streak was broken, and there wasn’t a seat or standing space to be found. Orleans came out the Orange County Basketball champ, and finally getting that win over Paoli, something they haven’t done in the last seven tries.
The first half was close. Paoli was up by 2 at the end of the first quarter, 11 to 9. Both teams were responding to each other’s attacks. There were a few misses here and there as they warmed up. But they both matched up well. These are two of the top defenses around, and it’d be a key to this game.
Orleans stepped up the defense in the second quarter, holding Paoli to four points. By the end of the half, it was still a close game with Orleans up, 15-17. Xavier Alston (6) and Ian Hall (7) led the way for Orleans in the first half. Hall looking smooth with a tall jumper, and Alston ready to clean up anything on the glass. Xavier also threw in his patented two-handed jam a couple times.
Paoli struggled to find scoring for most of the game. Only three Rams took scored/took shots. Fletcher Cole and Trey Rominger made up 90% of the point output. They each had 6 in the first half. Wilson Windhorst had a nice three in the first, but that would be the last time anyone beside Trey or Fletcher scored.
Orleans came out of the half primed and ready to dominate. And they did. They held Paoli to 4 points in the third, and 9 points in the fourth. Paoli was hard pressed to get any shots up without two Bulldog defenders in their face. It was a completely different tone.
Orleans was hot in the third, scoring 19 points. Carter Allen, Ian Hall, Bryce Jones, Blake Love, and Xavier Alston all scored in the hot start.
Xavier Alston would lead Orleans with 14 points. Blake Love and Ian Hall would have 11 each.
Fletcher Cole would score 14 for Paoli and Trey Rominger would finish with 11. Windhurst would have the other 3.
Paoli missed their senior center, Isaac McBride, who’s out with an injury. He’s a big body force down low that the Rams really needed tonight as they were outmatched on the boards. The Rams also need his scoring power.
The Rams will need to find their confidence; besides Trey and Fletcher, it didn’t seem like anyone else wanted to shoot the ball. These teams are basically the same teams that played in Paoli last year, but Paoli is hurting on depth and scorers. Can’t win many when only three people score.
Orleans goes on to win 46-28.
The atmosphere in Orleans was what I thought it was going to be. There was literally no parking. Standing room was barely available during the JV game, and it was hot. Really hot. The band had about six drums and rocked the house. Best band I’ve heard. Loved the experience. Great game from both schools.
The two teams also wore HagenStrong shirts before the game, in honor of Barr-Reeve great Hagen Knepp who is in a battle against a rare form of cancer. We love to see all the basketball communities coming together for such a great guy.