Orangefield runs into tough Hitchcock in playoff action Tuesday night

Published 12:18 am Wednesday, February 28, 2024

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BAYTOWN — Orangefield’s magical 2023-24 basketball season came to an unfortunate end Tuesday night at the hands of defending state champion Hitchcock.

The Bobcats suffered a 66-34 defeat.

The disappointing finale ended a day that started with such promise, as the varsity Orangefield student-athletes enjoyed a raucous sendoff from school with lined roads and cheering classmates and supporters.

Tuesday’s game was played at Lee College in Baytown.

Before the game, coach Bryan Whitmire said the Bobcats faced a tough order in Hitchcock, who he described as talented across the board and well-coached.

The loss does not dampen a great season for Orangefield.

Whitmire said he recently told his student-athletes he could not thank them enough for the way they took to him and bought into his system as soon as he joined the program last summer.

“Everybody does things differently, but Coach McDonald did a great job here, so there was already a great foundation and culture built in,” Whitmire said.

“As we started doing some new stuff and implementing things, they really took to it and have been very coachable. It’s a really good group. They are a joy to work with. They work really hard, and all the credit to them for being able to make plays. It’s my job to put them in position and for them to make the plays. That is what they have done.”

No. 1, he said, the Bobcats were really tough defensively this season, which led to so much regular season and playoff success.

“Try to slow people down, try to make them take low-percentage shots,” according to Whitmire. “It starts on the defensive end.”