ELMHURST, Ill. — Timothy Christian Schools became home to one of the biggest upsets during the state playoffs as the Orr Academy Spartans beat the Uplift Titans 75-66 in overtime.
The Spartans had trouble finding their game as they were hit with numerous traveling calls on Dannie Smith and remained in foul trouble sending the Titans to the free throw line to add on their lead. Chase Adams said that the calls the referees made was something to be expected around this time.
“I mean we’ve been to a lot of games and we don’t get a lot of calls. When it comes to the refs, the refs don’t like us very much so we had to go ahead and keep playing without the refs, we’re used to it,” Adams said jokingly.
The Titans, who led the game until the fourth period, were jumping out of their seats as they were nearing a victory against their rivals. Orr didn’t give up easily as Brian Hernandez started the last period with back-to-back 3-pointers to get the team wheeling again. He didn’t feel too worried about losing to Uplift but admitted they gave them a good game.
“They’ve been playing really good basketball and we knew they were going to come out with a lot of energy and they had their momentum. We just had to come out with one play at a time to get the win,” he said.
The scores remained neck and neck until the final minute where a missed shot from Smith sent the game into overtime. However, the additional four minutes was what the team needed to take the lead for the first time and hold on until the final seconds.
Some believed that the absence of coach Louie Adams, who was visiting his son for senior night in Wyoming, was a reason the team struggled in the first half. Assistant varsity coach Jimalle Ridley said it took some adjusting but Adams’ absence didn’t affect the team.
“Well coach Louie is our pilot, he’s our rock. At the end of the day, he’s built a prominent program where he doesn’t have to be here for use to pull off the victory. But when he comes back it’s going to be with a smile and not a frown.”
Orr will head back to Timothy Christian Friday night where they will play against the IC Catholic Knights at 7 p.m. Ridley and the team celebrate their win against Uplift but as they now turn their attention to IC, he is going into the next game with one thing in mind.
“Stay woke. Don’t take anyone for granted because every possession you’re going to be in is a dogfight.”
(Highlights courtesy of Mars Reel)