After a disappointing fourth-place finish in Class 3A last year, Orr came out with a much more motivated performance on Saturday afternoon as the Spartans closed out third place in Class 3A with a 55-45 win over Rockford Lutheran.
After making it to Peoria last season, Orr fell to Cahokia, 56-46, in the semifinals before losing to Limestone, 58-49, in the third-place game.
Spartan senior point guard Louis Adams Jr., finished with a game-high 23 points to go along with seven rebounds while guard Darryl Curry added 11 points and senior guard Demetrius Dortch added eight points for Orr.
"(This game) was real important because last year we came down here and got fourth place and this year we wanted to get third place to go out as seniors," Adams Jr. said.
After being outscored 17-7 in the first quarter, Orr turned on the jets in the second quarter as they outscored Rockford Lutheran, 20-3, in the frame to take a 27-20 halftime lead.
The Spartans led by as many as 12 in the second half, but Rockford Lutheran closed the gap to 44-43 on a pair of free throws by guard Kendall Lawson with a little under three minutes remaining. But Adams took over from there, as the senior drove to his right on two of the next three possessions and scored twice to give Orr a 49-43 lead to put the game away.
"Yesterday we were right there and had a chance to win the ballgame but winning today was gratifying and we ended on a good note," Orr head coach Louis Adams Sr. said.
The Spartans (25-5) won despite playing without senior forward Tyquone Greer -- who sat out the contest due to injury -- and senior center Marlon Jones battled foul problems while dealing with a noticeable limp throughout the second half. Jones finished with six points and five rebounds in the contest.
Rockford Lutheran was led by forward Nate Wieting's 12 points, while guard Thomas Kopelman added 11 points and guard Joseph Kellen had 10 points.
Turnover issues plagued the Crusaders, though, as they had 19 for the game, including 10 from Wieting. Those 19 Rockford Lutheran turnovers led to 22 Orr points. Rockford Lutheran finished the season with a 30-5 record.
"Defense got us this far, so why not stick with it?" Adams Jr. said. "We had to keep playing 'D' and do what got us here. Yesterday we didn't play as well but today we stepped it up."
Senior guard Issaih Hayes played a strong overall floor game for Orr, finishing with five points, nine rebounds and six assists.