CRETE | When Crete-Monee boys basketball coach Tom Cappel refers to a general, one can rest assured he is talking about Warriors point guard Michael Orris.
Orris, who missed the first three games of the season with a left ankle injury, returned to the Warriors lineup Saturday night and did not appear to miss a step. Orris poured in a team-high 19 points to lead Crete-Monee to a 67-45 victory over Tinley Park in the nightcap of the five-game second annual Crete-Monee Shoot-Out.
"When the general is running the army, it is running properly," Cappel said of the performance of Orris, who hit four 3-point shots in the contest.
The Warriors (3-1) broke open the game with a 17-point run that began with 1:20 seconds left in the third quarter and concluded more than four minutes later on an inside basket by the Titans Vince Gooden. During the run, which gave the Warriors a commanding 59-36 lead, Orris connected on a 3-pointer, Marvie Keith added two 3-pointers, Jordan Perry added a score and Orris and Michael Conner each converted 3-point plays.
"We talked in the locker room, as a team, we needed to start (the second half) with a run and not let them get a run," Orris said. "That's a testament to our guys; we came up with a really good run, and they could not respond to it."
Orris said the ankle had still been very sore Wednesday, but by Thursday it was clear to him that he would be ready to participate in Saturday's contests.
Orris hit two 3-point shots to give the Warriors a 17-8 lead late in the first quarter. Orris scored eight of his points in the third quarter, which helped shake off an Eldridge Anderson-led Titans squad that had pulled to within six prior to the Warriors' critical run.
"The kids really look to Michael for leadership," Cappel said. "And he's quicker than I thought he would be. He is quick with the ball and we had other guys finishing it off, as well for us."
LaQuon Treadwell scored eight of his 14 points in the first quarter for the Warriors. Anderson scored a game-high 22 points for the Titans (3-3).
Bloom Township upped its record to 5-0 with a 62-44 win over Plainfield North in the preceding contest. Donald Moore and Johnny Griffin each scored 12 for the Blazing Trojans, who had a 20-point lead by the third quarter.