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Eastern boys squashed by Orange standout in conference title game

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By Bob Sutton

Special to The Alamance News

It might have been fun for Eastern Alamance boys’ basketball coach Parrish Walker to watch the performance Orange’s Cole Cloer put on Friday night – if it hadn’t come against his team.

The Eagles were flustered in trying to slow down the high-scoring sophomore, and it just didn’t work out in the Central 3-A Conference Tournament championship game played at Roxboro Person.

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Cloer cranked out 36 points in Orange’s 86-69 victory.

“He’s so gifted at everything,” Walker said. “I think this game he was looking to put on a show.”

That was accomplished as the regular-season champion Panthers (15-11) pinned a third loss of the season on second-seeded Eastern (18-9).

Cloer, the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, did his work in many ways, with a variety of mid-range jumpers, drives to the baskets, and dunks. He had just one 3-pointer. It was the second-highest point total of the season for Cloer, who poured in 39 earlier this month vs. Southern Alamance. He’s within 33 points of reaching 1,000 for his career.

Orange broke out to an 18-5 lead and held a 46-30 edge by halftime, delighting the partisan Panthers crowd.

The Eagles avoided a knockout blow despite falling behind by 20, closing within 59-45 late in the third quarter but that was the extent of a rally.

 

Walker, a first-year coach, figured the Eagles should be proud to reach the title game.

“We’re not holding our heads down,” he said. He said playing in the title game was “an accomplishment for our program.”

Orange’s Kai Wade added 15 points. Jordan Matthews led Eastern’s offense with 19 points, Ja’vier Tinnin had 12 points, and Jayden Adams added nine points.

Orange’s Freddy Sneed and Wade joined Eastern’s Tinnin and Matthews on the all-tournament squad, which also included Chris Epps (Southern Alamance), James Newton (Western Alamance), and Brian Williams (Williams).

 

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