Amari Hamilton poured in 24 points, including his team’s first five points and clutch free throws down the stretch, as Southern Durham overpowered Orange 67-53 in the boys’ 3A Big Eight championship game Friday night at Chapel Hill High School.
Southern Durham was also bolstered by football and hoops star Kendall Hinton, who scored eight points in the first half to combine with Hamilton (17) for 25 of the Spartans points for a 32-25 halftime lead.
J.D. Brooks and Eryk Brandon-Dean kept Orange in it, netting 18 points each, but the Panthers couldn’t keep up with the more athletic and energetic Spartans.
Southern Durham led 14-11 after the first quarter and stretched the lead to seven in the second quarter. Orange played better after intermission but couldn’t seize control of the contest.
The Panthers, the top conference seed heading into the game versus the No. 3-seeded Spartans, had their frustration manifest through Tay Jones who lost his composure late in the contest.
It marked the second consecutive win for Southern over Orange, which certainly pleased coach Kendrick Hall.
“We have a young team and it shows at times,” Hall said, noting he had as many as three freshman on the court at one time. “But all season Hamilton’s been a leader for us.”