In a back-and-forth game, the Orange Panthers never trailed and advanced to the East Regional Final with a 69-56 defeat of West Brunswick Wednesday night.
The Panthers got out to a hot start and took an 18-10 lead into the second quarter. The Trojans brought it back to a five-point difference early in the second, but turnovers got the better of them, and the Panthers extended the lead to 11 mid-way through the frame.
Orange continued the run before halftime and took the 37-22 lead into the locker room.
However, West Brunswick showed its fight to stay alive in the postseason nearly doubling its first-half score and outscoring Orange 21-12 in the third. The Panthers held on to a six-point lead with one quarter remaining.
The Orange defense came up big late in the game, and the offense capitalized. The Panthers pulled away to a double-digit lead again and held on for the 13-point win.
Orange’s Jawan Chambers led all players with 18 points. J.D. Brooks and Eryk Brandon-Dean followed him with 16 points each. The Panthers shot 55.8 percent from the field and held the Trojans to 37.9 percent.
In the first regional semifinal, Hunt used 61.5-percent shooting from the field in the second half to pull away and take the 68-60 defeat of Havelock.
Tipoff between Orange and Hunt is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. Saturday in Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville. You can hear all the action of the East Regional Final on Chapelboro.com.