Orr wins Class 2A title, completes historic three-peat

Orr holds up the Class 2A state championship trophy, Saturday 03-09-19. Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times.
Orr holds up the Class 2A state championship trophy, Saturday 03-09-19. Worsom Robinson/For the Sun-Times.

PEORIA—Sherif Kenney spent the first month of the season sitting on a chair in the corner of the gym watching Orr play without him.

Spartans coach Lou Adams kept hinting that he had surprise in store. Then around the middle of December Adams became bolder, proclaiming that when Kenney was able to play the sky was the limit for his team.

That’s something that is heard fairly regularly. A Public League powerhouse is often just that one player that hasn’t been ruled eligible yet away from success. Kenney turned out to be everything Adams promised and much more. The Spartans turned into a completely different team when the transfer from Washington, DC was ruled eligible.

Orr’s two other starting guards were able to slide into roles that were ideal. Terry Williams became a deadly three-point shooter. Tujautae Williams was able to use his sized and speed to freelance.

Nashville’s plan in the Class 2A championship game on Saturday at Carver Arena was to slow the pace of the game down. The Hornets managed that, but thanks to Kenney’s steady dominance it didn’t matter.

Orr defeated Nashville 50-36 to win its third consecutive Class 2A state title.

“Coming to Chicago and winning state means a lot to me,” Kenney said. “Going to a different city and winning a big trophy is a major accomplishment. We came together as family and did what we had to do.”

Kenney finished with 19 points. The strong, 6-5 point guard was 7-for-11 shooting.

“I told you he would be one of the best players in Chicago, if not the best,” Adams said. “He’s very cerebral. He’s tough. Whoever gets him will have a steal.”

Terry Williams scored eight points. He was one of the Spartans’ most consistent players throughout the season.

“I came from nothing,” Williams said. “I was at Simeon, overlooked. No college coaches wanted me. I was in this drought. Coming to [Orr] was the best thing that happened to me.”

Orr led 20-14 at halftime. The Spartans took control with a 10-2 run to open the third quarter.

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All-City guard Tujautae Williams had four crowd-pleasing dunks, 10 points, eight rebounds and three steals. Senior Greg Outlaw, a Bogan transfer, added 10 points and eight rebounds.

“One thing about Orr, we allow you to play basketball,” Adams said. “Kids come to us and we try and get their careers going in the right direction.”

Carson Parker led Nashville (36-2) with 16 points and 11 rebounds and Bryson Bultman scored 12.

The three consecutive titles puts the Spartans (26-11) in elite company. Only Simeon, East St. Louis Lincoln and Peoria Manual have accomplished the feat.

“This one is the best one of them all because we really earned it,” Adams said. “We put a lot of pieces together. Every time you think about Chicago basketball you have to think about Orr. We are a powerhouse, we are here to stay.”

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42 comments

  • Tyree’s mom

    Realistically, professionals tranfer so…
    Some of our kids don’t get many opportunities so…

  • Curtis D. Levy

    Orr did what have been done to them for years now the shoe is on the other foot did they do something illegal nope Orr 3peat champions congratulations

  • Lffoster

    So. blame the kids because city schools allow transfers and kids in little towns have to go to their community schools REALLY If a kid isn’t playing a KID he should be able 2 LEAVE Bogan kid that’s his parents decision D.C. Kid that’s his parent DECISION Terry former SIMEON player HE WANTED 2 play he went where he played quality minutes and contributed to Orr winning back to back WHY are they being JUDGED after you LOST

  • Paul

    Greg Outlaw lives in the Ashburn area of Chicago but attends Orr.

  • nunya

    Chicago is not taking your basketball away. You have a problem, tell your kids to play better or to work harder in the off-season. Is this really where we are today, that if my kid doesn’t win it has to be someone else’s fault? I’m sorry but that attitude is going to follow your child through their life and have them making excuses for their failures til the day they die. Grow up.

    • Paul

      First of all they shouldn’t still be in 2a. The IHSA USES A SUCCESS FACTOR THAT DECIDES WHERE CERTAIN TEAMS PLAY. If you win quite often IHSA moves you up a class. See schools like Naz,Montini,Mt Carmel and SSSHG in football. Heck even Phillips is moved up. Seems like the IHSA HAS NO HEART IN MAKING THIS DECISION.

      fINALLY 8 TRANSFERS? cOME ON. yOU AREN’T TEACHING YOUR KIDS RIGHT. So don’t go on here lecturing people. Teaching your kid to be a leader and not a follower. Jeopardizing his education so he can play basketball. Some parent

  • CCLAlum08

    Easy to win when u have 8 kids come in to play

  • PistolPete44

    IHSA reads these comments. They took trophy away from Hales after the discovery of recruiting. Stay tuned.

  • Stone Cold

    You guys dont know anything about Orr. They didnt get all the transfers in. Most of the kids have been on the Orr team for years riding the bench waiting for their time. Orr has had a core of kids for the last couple of years. You guys didnt complain when they went back to back last year. If you dont fellow a team, dont talk smack about them and complain like little babies! Orr is going to win again next year! Cant wait to hear you guys cry some more!

    • PistolPete44

      One questionable transfer is one too many and can make a very good team a championship team.

    • Paul

      Five bench players? Kenney was just eligible in January and was highly ranked. Greg Outlaw was a starter at Bogan last year. The Simeon kid who transferred in I don’t think saw much action. Also why is Orr still in 2A? Any other team has to abide by the success factor that the IHSA figures in when determining playoff status.

      • Bmax

        Success factor only applies to Catholic/private school. For public league, its optional. FYI

        • lefty

          You can look it up on ihsa.org, but if Orr isn’t open boundary and not subject to the success factor, each student needs to live in small area near the school. Pretty sure the success factor applies to any open boundary school, including Lane/Young, etc. You guys can fact check it though. What’s the closest HS to Orr? Clemente? Prosser?

          • Leegs1

            According to CPS.edu, Orr is an open enrollment school which allows, through a “computerized lottery,” out of district enrollment if space is available.

          • Bmax

            Westinghouse, Marshall, Crane, Raby, manley and N Lawndale and farragut and more are all within maybe 12 blocks from Orr.

  • Hoops expert

    Nashville vs Orr “Get Buckets” AAU Team. They even got coaches transferring in too, LMFAO. Good for them. They saw the chance to stack their team and they did. Now they won their third state title in three years.

    • Shun beasley

      Boo! Hoo! Lil Nashville Chicago is a huge big city with over 200 H.S in the city. Both public and catholic league. Heck the city catholic schools recruit. Now how many h.s are in your lil one horse southern town? Over 200 H.S in the city you no how much talent there is in the city. Kids can go to whatever h.s of there choice and y all complaining. Why don’t y’all play a tougher schedule, play some actual completion, because those city kids are battle tested! They play inside as well as outside of IL. Orr academy has played schools from Missouri, Ohio, Minnesota, Detroit, playing against other schools who has McDonald’s h.s all American kids on there roster that’s going to school like Duke, Kansas. Not to mention playing a 3a and 4a teams from both the public and catholic league. Would Nashville play that kind a schedule? Heck no. Y’all scared to play top competition, scared to get out of y’all element, y all stick to playing other mediocre small towns and there h.s. end of the day all city kids play for the same reason you small towns do. They practice like everyone else does. When you play schools from the city its a whole another atmosphere cause thev’e been battle tested, y all don’t play the kind of competition they play. The level of talent is far and way different from what y’all see. Stop whining, and complaining, my advise schedule some schools from Chicago,play better competition cause end of the day weather small town or big city its still 5 on 5 with one basketball.

      • Paul

        Feeling racist. Maybe you should go back to geography class that’s if you know to even say or spell the word. You probably don’t even know where Nashville is located or even what conference they play in. If Orr was man enough, they would play in either 3A or 4A. Coaches from other high schools do that all the time during the state playoffs. See Phillips High School in Football

  • Bones

    Congrats to Orr. Personally I’m on both sides. I would want to think that Orr would welcome a greater challenge. However, it does seem like some people just don’t want CPL teams to win anything. In football people want to exclude them from the playoffs for being too bad, here in basketball people want to exclude them for being too good. Not sure what it is about the CPL that gets people so furious when they win, but they should do some soul searching.

    That said, Chicago will not win 3A or 4A.

  • Lord Boogie

    Some of the comments are totally inaccurate, it’s ok for Simeon,Morgan Park to get transfers and continuously when but when a school like Orr wins it’s because of transfers. Do you homework before you make comments Simeon always has a great JV but you never see those same guys together on Varsity. MP gets transfers because of there powerhouse AAU program. Soon the IHSA will put a halt to the transferring and will get to see how good all of these schools are with what they already have in house. But for now celebrate ORR for an amazing feet a 3PEAT there in the history books where they will stay!!

  • H.S B-Ball fan

    Charter schools ruined it for the 1A & 2A classes. When they opened Charters two years after we went to 4 classes that is when you started to see big schools like Marshall, Dunbar and Orr dropping to 1A & 2A. Those schools lost so many kids to Charter Schools and a large amount of African-Americans leaving the state and city of Chicago every year. I wouldn’t play down in 1A or 2A if I played in the Red Northwest or Red South Central. Play up in 3A or 4A. Leave 1A and 2A to small schools like St. Mel , Christ the King and some of these other Charter schools. Corliss was in the Red Northwest play up.

  • 50 year alum

    Too bad the IHSA has to have Curie and Simeon traveling to Evanston to play in the SS makes no sense game should be played where city and suburban fans could get to. Why should Evanston and Stevenson have to travel all the way out to Hoffman Estates? These sterile arenas are not very fan friendly. Get off of 294 at Dempster next sit in terrible traffic only way to get there how stupid. Or sit on Rte. 53 to Higgins in traffic to get to Hoffman Estates. Then have to pay more to park than the actual ticket price. All of this during rush hour! Many fans will be frustrated but eventually get there. The IHSA kinda knew when they set up brackets who was gonna be where. Go back to holding super sectionals at high school gyms or at least make it easier for fans to attend. Living in Brookfield I would have to leave hours before hand to get to either of these locations in time don’t forget rush hour starts at 2:00 almost everywhere nowadays. There are many places in the suburbs and city that are so much easier to get to.wake up IHSA

    • 43 Year Leyden Alum

      Totally agree with 50 Year. You forgot about Tolls also. IHSA is greedy like NCAA. They have there head up there ass. I couldn’t even watch the Orr AllStar Transfers game. It’s worse than NBA AllStar game.

      • PistolPete44

        If Orr has all the transfers then take that up with Orr. The transfer rules are the same under IHSA for all schools. As for your head statement and tolls, if you want to live in your Democratic Madigan run state that all the minorities re elect then you have to pay to live here.

        • 50 year alum

          You got it PistolPete44 I haven’t voted Democrat in this state for over 30 years but you know my vote on the other side means NOTHING in this corrupt state but now retired I have a choice and Nevada is our choice. Can’t wait to get out of here. State is run the correct way and is friendly in every way to retirees. No more comments from me about transfers I just don’t care anymore. Looking forward to seeing what HS BB looks like out there. Been supporting High School BB for over 50 years but I see some changes need to be made. Will watch 3&4A tourneys on TV here for the last time. Seems IHSA really doesn’t get it they need to think more about the fans than money but you know in this state it’s all about the money. Watched close to 1,500 games in 50 years. Will miss seeing my alma mater Proviso East but but will still keep in contact will all the great players and fans I’ve made in 50 years. GO PIRATES

  • KJ

    All you downstate people quit crying. What about the times when the Chicago teams were cheated in the sectionals and super sectionals and coulld never get downstate. Then there was the a time when only one Chicago team could come down. Then the rules changed and the Chicago public League teams followed the rules. Orr won fair and square.
    Ps
    Please don’t ever forget the 1954 DuSable Panthers who never got ranked and were cheated in the championship game. Do research and read the history.

  • West sub fan

    Excellent point

  • Norm

    Nashville has 3000 people in the whole town. They are supposed to complete against a city team full of all star transfers? Diluting things to 4 classes was supposed to promote fairness. Ha ha!

  • Royce

    Orr loss 5 seniors as well as their top 5 scorers. Michael disrespectfully didn’t rank them and they were pissed. Thanks o’brien for the added motivation. People said oh they were done. Made it to the Cps final 4 and loss, but it only added fuel to the fire. 3 time state champs

    • terrence99

      Orr lost 5 seniors and people said they were done, so they brought in a busload of transfers.

      What a joke.

  • Norm

    I don’t know how anyone could watch that Orr game and think positively about what’s going on. An all-star team of transfers that basically didn’t even know each other 3 months ago beats up on a true 2A team from the tiny town of Nashville that’s worked for years to get there. I’ve been a fan of what Orr has accomplished in the past but not this time.

    • BigAl

      On point Norm, Orr transferred their way to a championship. There needs to be some type of reform to stem this type of gaming the transfer rules. You transfer schools, you sit out a year, no exceptions.

      • Mike

        yeah, you don’t seem to have kids transferring to CPL schools to take a better math or science class…it’s turned into a little NBA with players deciding where their best chances are of winning and of nothing else..

      • Skywalker Returns

        Your comments are false and inaccurate. As the public league and other city schools, i.e., Providence St. Mel, DePaul College Prep, continue to dominate high school basketball, the racist undertones begin to surface. Under the old system, there were no complaints when Chicago teams were grossly disadvantaged and had to battle each other for one slot downstate (100:1 ratio). Instead of acknowledging the improved coaching and play, some people continue to seek reasons (cheating) to discredit the programs. With the mass exodus of African American families leaving the city boundaries and a decline in student enrollment, it is amazing how the city teams, including parochial, continue to compete at a high level. So, I suggest that you embrace the phenomenon and hope that the non-city schools continue to get better.

        • Paul

          Racist? Wow you’re soft. Not a single racist undertone was mentioned.

        • 50 year alum

          Seems like you and Tim from the Providence St Mel article comments must live next door to each other you both are the only two to make racist comments no one else. Why must everything always be about race? That’s all your mind thinks of probably in everyday life. So sad most people state their opinions nobody makes race an issue but you two fools! Bet you blame race for everything that doesn’t go your way. That’s how hate happens you two are pathetic to make race an issue when talking about high school kids. So you both live in your little bubble of hate race race race race race race that’s all you got.

    • The Rock

      I agree Norm, Next year all transfer that are considered “high profile ” will have to be approved by the IHSA not just the schools. This applies for Catholic, CPS and suburban districts. I lived in Michigan and in the city of Detroit’s PSL ( public school league) and all over the state every student who plays a sport and transfer to another school has to have the eligibility approved by the MHSAA if you think your going to play right away. They have certain standards that have to be me if one of them are not me you not approved for eligibility. You can transfer but you won’t play your sport until one year to the date of your transfer.

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