Orion boys start big to beat Morrison

by Mindy Carls correspondent
Orion’s Chance Stropes, center, battles a pair of Morrison players for a rebound on Friday, March 12, when the Chargers closed out the 2021 season. Behind Stropes on left is Will Dunlap.

A 19-6 start powered the Orion boys to a 55-31 win over Morrison in varsity basketball on Friday, March 12, in the Charger gym.

It was Orion’s final game of the season.

Charger Will Dunlap netted two points to start the contest. After Cade Weiss added a basket for a 4-0 lead, Weiss caused a Mustang turnover that led to another Dunlap bucket.

Two and a half minutes into the game, Morrison finally got on the scoreboard.

Dunlap spun in two more baskets for a 10-5 lead.

While the Morrison side of the scoreboard stalled at six points, Orion’s Jared Mohr and Chance Stropes hit deuces sandwiched around Abram Anderson’s trey.

At the buzzer, Adam Burgert found the range for a basket to give Orion a 13-point lead going into the second quarter.

The Mustangs picked up the pace in the second quarter, edging Orion 14-12, but still trailed 31-20 at halftime.

Morrison cut the Orion lead to six points in the first three minutes of the period.

Burgert netted a deuce and Will Lawson a three to give Orion a 24-15 lead with 4:20 to go in the half.

A three helped the Mustangs come within six points of the Chargers, but Stropes responded with two points.

With less than 90 seconds to go before intermission, Stropes fed the ball to Weiss, who put it through the net for a 28-20 lead.

Just before the buzzer, Burgert heaved the ball from half-court for three points.

Orion put up seven points to six for Morrison in the third, then surged to a 17-5 lead over the guests in the fourth.

After intermission, Lawson fired in another three for a 34-20 lead.

Weiss and Stropes each hit for two to push Orion’s advantage to 15 points at 38-23 with 1:45 to go in the third.

The fourth quarter began with Orion leading 38-26. The Chargers got two free throws and a basket from Burgert to increase the lead to 16.

Orion and Morrison traded baskets, with Stropes and Josh Spranger finding the net for the Chargers.

Lawson hit for a two to give the Chargers a 20-point advantage at 50-30.

Kaden Meguffy arched in a triple from the corner for a 53-31 lead, and Stropes closed out the season with a basket.

Chargers finishing in double figures were Burgert, 11 points, and Dunlap and Stropes, 10 each. Lawson added eight; Weiss, six; Anderson and Meguffy, three apiece, and Spranger and Mohr, two each.

The teams combined for nine threes, with Orion dropping in five and Morrison, four. Lawson had two and Anderson, Burgert and Meguffy, one apiece.

Orion made two of eight free throws. Burgert was 2-for-2. Morrison hit 5-for-12.

Officials called 12 fouls on the Chargers and eight on the Mustangs.

Before the varsity game began, the Chargers presented Dennis Weiss with a banner to thank him for coaching the seniors on a travel team since they were young boys.

Orion also won the sophomore game 48-30. The Chargers had a 26-19 advantage at halftime and just kept increasing their lead in the second half.

Kane Lieving fired in 17 points; Cole Kimball, nine; Trey Erdmann, eight; Elijah Soukup and Lucas Dunlap, four each; Gus Nedved, three; Kameron Weaver, two; and Caiden Mielke, one.

Erdmann and Kimball each roped in a three. Morrison had three.

Orion was 10-for-14 at the free-throw line. Erdmann hit 5-for-6; Lieving, 3-for-4, and Lieving and Nedved, 1-for-2. Morrison was 3-for-6.

The Chargers committed 10 fouls and the Mustangs, 13.