The Chapel Hill Tigers rebounding from two recent conference losses used tenacious defense to overpower the ailing Orange Panthers 72 – 54 before a great home crowd at Orange High School Friday night February 2nd. The Tigers took advantage of an Orange Panther team that was missing all conference guard Mitch Portman and their other premier ball handler Machai Holt by implementing an effective full court press early in the contest. The Tigers defense caused 7 Panther turnovers in the first quarter and ended the first period with a 16 point lead that they never relinquished. The Tigers held us much as a 26 point lead in the first half before the Panthers made a late first half run that cut the deficit to 13 by halftime.
The second half consisted of more of the same before the Tigers finally pulled away late in the game to walk away with the 22 point victory. The Tigers conference championship hopes are on the line next week as they play Southern, Northern, and rival East Chapel Hill next week. If the Tigers win all three games they will take the Big 8 – 3A Conference title and can celebrate on their rivals home court.
The Orange Panthers welcome back point guard Mitch Portman next week and reload prior to the Big 8 – 3A Conference Tournament.
The 97.9 The Hill broadcast team welcomed a very special guest at halftime as Orange Panther Cam Thompson and his mother joined our desk. Cam and his mom discussed his miraculous recovery following a nearly fatal long boarding accident last Fall that prompted enormous community support. Cam is expecting a 100% recovery.
WCHL, 97.9 The Hill will conclude their regular season high school basketball broadcast schedule next Tuesday at East Chapel Hill High School when the Northwood Chargers come to town.