AUGUSTA — Jay’s defensive quandary Tuesday night was a case of either, Orr.

That’s Sarah Orr, one of only two senior starters on the Traip Academy girls’ basketball team.

The Tigers, like just about everyone else who encountered the Rangers all winter, orchestrated their entire defensive game plan intending to squelch the multiple talents of junior Serena Lorrey.

Choose your poison. Orr erupted for 21 points and nudged No. 5 Traip to a 54-43 Western Class C quarterfinal victory over No. 4 Jay at Augusta Civic Center.

Orr drained three 3-pointers in the second and third quarters. Of more dire consequence to Jay, she scored three huge points during a game-ending 14-2 surge after Jay briefly took its only lead of the evening.

“I’m willing to bet she hasn’t had three 3s in a game or 21 points,” Jay coach Chris Bessey said of Orr. “We scouted them a couple of times and I looked at all the box scores, and I had her with one ‘3’ all year. You’ve got to hand it to her. That‘s not her game, but she stepped up to the challenge and we didn’t.”

Lorrey did her damage, too. The 5-foot-10 junior racked up 20 points, 12 rebounds, four steals and three blocked shots.

Nine of those points came in the first quarter, when Traip exploded to a 17-7 lead. The advantage grew to 24-10 early in the second period before Jay began a grinding, gritty rally to make a game of it.

“Our last game was two Tuesdays ago. We tried to stay sharp, but it’s tough to simulate the speed and intensity that’s going to be up here,” Traip coach Paul Marquis said. “That was a great start to the game. It could have started even better. We played hard defensively, and we got a lot of our looks early as a result of our defense.”

Traip (11-6) won a quarterfinal for the first time since 2004. The Rangers will meet No. 1 Hall-Dale in Thursday’s semifinals.

Orr delivered six steals, spearheading a defensive effort that forced 29 Jay turnovers. Freshman Alli Barrett bolstered the Rangers with nine points and four assists, while six-foot sophomore Carolin Reinke ripped down 13 rebounds.

Beth Moore led Jay (15-4) with 18 points, seven rebounds and four steals. Alexi Deering and Alexis Blodgett each finished with seven points.

Jay was 4-for-26 from the field in the first half and 11-for-48 (23 percent) overall.

“That’s my responsibility as a coach to get our team ready, and obviously with what you saw in the first quarter, we weren’t ready,” Bessey said. “I think we got caught up in the environment. I thought our experience on the floor would help.”

The Tigers compensated for their shooting woes by working the ball inside to Moore.

It was enough to get Jay back into the game, thanks mostly to Moore’s 11-for-14 showing from the line in the middle quarters.

Despite hitting only one field goal in the second period, Jay trimmed its deficit to 27-20 at halftime and 40-35 after three.

With Moore, Deering and Alanna White in deep foul trouble, Kourtney Brennick and Kristy Macomber scored their only hoops of the game to launch the fourth. Moore’s hook shot after Deering’s offensive rebound put Jay on top 41-40 with 4:57 to go.

It was the Tigers’ last field goal. White fouled out three seconds later. Deering joined her on the bench within two minutes.

And despite eight missed free throws and a lane violation in the quarter, Traip gradually regained control.

Two steals by Orr led to insurance free throws. Barrett hit a huge basket courtesy of Lorrey.

Orr drove the baseline around Jay’s post players and banked in a reverse layup to apply the exclamation point with 1:34 left.

“It was probably one of those ‘no, no, no’ shots where you say let’s pull it out and see what we can get. But we want a fast game. We want it to be hectic. We want it to be up and down. That’s the way we want to play, so we’ll take that,” Marquis said.

“We have a lot of girls that have answered the call all year. Selena gets a lot of the press. She deserves that. But Sarah, when it came right down to it, is a senior who put the team on her back at times.”

[email protected]

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: