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The reverberations of Jamal McDowell’s stunning three-point game-winner over Young last Friday that catapulted the Spartans to the top-seed of the Public League playoffs are still being felt.
It gave the Spartans their first ever Red-West title and put them in the conversation for a city tournament and Class 3A state title run that had been dominated by Simeon, Young and Morgan Park.
“Getting the top seed was big because Orr has never been the No. 1 in the city at anything,” McDowell said. The star senior point guard made sure the Spartans lived up to the gaudy billing.
McDowell scored nine points and distributed a game-high six assists as the host No. 3 Spartans produced four double-figure scorers in gliding past Blue-West champion Raby 74-37 in a first-round Public League city tournament game Tuesday.
Orr advances to host Kenwood, a 81-79 double-overtime winner over the Spartans’ neighborhood rival Westinghouse, for a second-round match up Thursday.
The Spartans (21-2) recorded a stunning 17 steals in forcing 28 Raby turnovers. Orr registered three separate runs of 7-0, 9-0 and 11-0 in the first half as they ran out to a commanding 35-13 lead at the break.
“The biggest thing about this game was we just wanted to get it out of the way,” McDowell said. “We wanted to get the victory and get our rest and get ready for the next round.”
McDowell continually broke down the Raiders’ defense with pinpoint passing that produced backdoor layups for the Spartans. His three consecutive assists helped Orr jump out to a 16-5 lead after the first quarter.
“I knew I wasn’t going to probably play a lot, so I just wanted to work on getting my teammates involved, get their legs going and spread the offense around,” he said.
Junior guard Louis Adams Jr., the son of Orr’s coach Louis Adams Sr., continued to impress by scoring 11 of his team-leading 12 points in the first half. He drilled two three-pointers during the opening barrage. His three-pointer at the end of the first quarter sparked the 9-0 burst.
His 22-footer from the right wing ignited the 11-0 run.
Ten different Spartans scored. The only downside was the absence of star 6-8 junior Tyquone Greer, who suffered a left-ankle spain in practice on Monday and did not dress. Marlon Jones, the 6-7 Crane transfer who’d been discplined previously by Adams for missing practice, responded by scoring 11 points and adding eight rebounds and five blocked shots off the bench.
Adams Sr. said Greer’s injury is not serious and he expects him to return, possibly as early as Thursday.
Junior guard Demetrius Dortch scored eight of his 12 points in the first half for the Spartans. Senior guard Brandon Clemons added 10 points for Orr. Eight different player scored in the third quarter alone as Orr turned the game into a rout with a 25-point explosion for a 60-28 advantage.
Guard Terry McDonald was the lone bright spot for the Raiders (11-6). He scored a game-high 15 points. Dion Mayfield contributed seven points.