Dannie Smith leads No. 16 Orr past Uplift for high-stakes 2A regional title

As Dannie Smith continues to shrink, his profile is starting to grow.The Orr junior is still 6-foot-5 but has lost "a lot" of weight throughout his first season playing organized basketball. He has an opportunity to make his name known in several...

Dannie Smith leads No. 16 Orr past Uplift for high-stakes 2A regional title

As Dannie Smith continues to shrink, his profile is starting to grow.The Orr junior is still 6-foot-5 but has lost "a lot" of weight throughout his first season playing organized basketball. He has an opportunity to make his name known in several...

25 Şubat 2017 Cumartesi 00:03
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Dannie Smith leads No. 16 Orr past Uplift for high-stakes 2A regional title

As Dannie Smith continues to shrink, his profile is starting to grow.

The Orr junior is still 6-foot-5 but has lost "a lot" of weight throughout his first season playing organized basketball. He has an opportunity to make his name known in several locales throughout Illinois over the next two weeks.

Smith made a believer of Uplift on Friday night, scoring 20 points and grabbing 14 rebounds to lead No. 16 Orr to a 69-61 victory over the top-seeded Titans in a state-championship caliber matchup in the Class 2A Orr Regional final.

The latest Associated Press poll ranked Uplift (22-6) the state's second-best 2A team, with Orr (18-5) third. The Spartans advance to the Guerin Sectional, where they will play IC Catholic on Tuesday.

"Dannie Smith is one of the best players in this town," Orr coach Lou Adams said. "He kept us in it tonight. We played smart down the stretch for a change. We shot the ball well. They wanted to win this."

Alexander Flute (19 points) and Brian Hernandez (11) shot particularly well for the Spartans, who didn't begin to separate themselves until a 9-1 run to close the third quarter gave Orr a 51-42 lead.

Toraze Dobbs (22 points) and Southern Illinois recruit Demarius Jacobs (21 points) were equally impressive for Uplift, but the Titans were without sophomore guard Markese Jacobs, Demarius' younger brother and a Kansas recruit.

Orr, Uplift no fans of meeting so soon in Class 2A playoffs Will Larkin

One way of thinking about basketball pairings is that their importance is overrated since one team will have to play the other, or one of equal quality, eventually.

Don't tell that to Orr coach Louis Adams or his Uplift counterpart, David Taylor.

They find themselves preparing for a state-championship...

One way of thinking about basketball pairings is that their importance is overrated since one team will have to play the other, or one of equal quality, eventually.

Don't tell that to Orr coach Louis Adams or his Uplift counterpart, David Taylor.

They find themselves preparing for a state-championship...

(Will Larkin)

The younger Jacobs was disciplined because "some things went on at the end of the Farragut game (a second-round loss in the city playoffs) that just can't go on in the team process," Uplift coach David Taylor said.

"It was a big task without him, but we felt with the personnel we had, we had enough," Taylor said.

Taylor said having to play at Orr, where the Spartans rarely lose, as the No. 1 seed is "another whole conversation. A No. 1 seed coming into the No. 3 seed's home is a bit strange to me. But I don't make the rules. I don't work for the IHSA."

Hosting a regional guarantees a team to play at home regardless of seed. Smith and Orr certainly benefited from the experience.

"It was great playing them early rather than late so we can get ready for the next game," Smith said.

Mike Helfgot is a freelance reporter for the Chicago Tribune.

Player of the game: Dannie Smith, Orr, 20 points, 14 rebounds.

Key performers: Uplift — Toraze Dobbs, 22 points, 8 rebounds, 5 3-pointers; Demarius Jacobs, 21 points, 4 assists. Orr — Alexander Flute, 19 points, 4 3-pointers; Brian Hernandez, 11 points, 3 3-pointers.

Our editors found this article on this site using Google and regenerated it for our readers.

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