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Before the highly anticipated return of Marquise Pryor could happen, Orr had to take care of some pressing business with a gritty 57-42 defeat of host Glenbard South in a Class 3A regional semifinal Wednesday night.
Pryor, who is still waiting for his official clearance from the IHSA after being sidelined by legal issues, sat on the bench and was a vocal cheerleader for the Spartans.
“I am ready to go when coach tells me that I can,” said Pryor, who smiled when Raiders fans chanted, “We want Pryor.”
“I learned a valuable lesson,” Pryor said, “I am thankful to be given this chance to play again and I take this opportunity very serious. Any way I can help the team I will and I appreciate all the support from my coaches, teammates, teachers and the entire school.”
All-Public League point guard Jamal McDowell made three consecutive steals and scored the first two baskets to get Orr rolling early. But Glenbard South regrouped and trailed just 13-11 after one quarter.
In the second quarter, Orr got into foul trouble. But Armani Ousley came off the bench and drained three three-pointers to help stake Orr to a 30-29 lead at halftime.
The Spartans took control of the game in the third quarter, as they used a tenacious man-to-man defense that held the Raiders scoreless, forcing five turnovers in an 8-0 run. The spurt was capped by a three-pointer by Louis Adams Jr. with 6:10 remaining in the quarter.
Orr then went to a spread offense that Glenbard South had no answer for. The Raiders got no closer than nine points for the remainder of the game.
Ousley led all scorers with 13 points. McDowell finished with 11 points and seven steals. Marlon Jones had nine points for Orr, and Tyquone Greer had eight.
Orr coach Louis Adams said defense won the game.
“We knew we had to turn up the defensive pressure on their guards,” the coach said. “We wanted to make them uncomfortable and not allow them to run any offense.”
Louis Adams also singled out McDowell and Ousley for heads-up play. “Jamal just went Jamal on them,” Adams said. “He is the best defensive guard in this city and once again he showed why.”
Ousley said he knew that his outside shot would be a factor. “We all know what our roles are on this team and mine is to loosen things up when other teams want to sag on the big men,” Ousley said.
Alex Jeske led Glenbard South with 12 points.
Raiders coach Wade Hardtke said the beginning of the third quarter was the key.
“That spurt at the beginning of the second half put us back on our heels and we could never catch up,” he said. “We wanted to slow things down, but when we fell behind, we couldn’t do it.”