LEWIS CENTER – Olentangy Orange boys basketball coach Anthony Calo repeated the word “capable” numerous times as he leaned against the wall in the hallway in back of the Orange gym Saturday night.
The Pioneers have been through the ringer two nights in a row – facing and losing to two of the area’s better teams with each featuring two of the area’s better scorers.
Ben Roderick went for a career-high 37 to lead rival Liberty to victory Friday night.
This time it was Von Cameron Davis, who scored 28 points to lead visiting Walnut Ridge to a lopsided 79-53 victory in non-league play Saturday night.
“What we showed tonight is not how we’re capable of playing,” Calo said. “So, that’s why I’m frustrated. We’re not guarding those guys very well right now. We need to find a way to shut down elite scorers. There’s no lack of them in our league.”
Calo listed off Roderick, Olentangy’s Sean Marks and Westerville South’s Jordan McMillian – a group the Pioneers will see five more times this season.
Walnut Ridge used an 11-0 run in the second quarter to create distance and followed that with a 13-0 run in the third quarter to blow things open.
“We were able to stick to the game-plan and get some stops,” Walnut Ridge coach Charles Jefferson said. “I think we were able to box out and limit them to one shot and get into transition and find our guys in spots. That second quarter was very key to our run.”
Qian Magwood scored 20 points, Kaveon Ross chipped in 10 and Meech Coble added 8 to lead the Scots (3-0).
“Tonight was (Magwood’s) best offensive night,” Jefferson said. “It was good to see him put the ball in the hole. I think he’s in his basketball rhythm just in time for league play.”
Davis came in with scoring outputs of 46 and 33 in his first two games.
“It’s about him staying in his rhythm,” Jefferson said. “He works on (his game), so to see him score and do this – I’m not surprised because he puts in a lot of hard work.”
But it was Magwood’s steal that he finished with a dunk on the offensive end that seemed to spark the Scots during the second-quarter run.
“We’re just trading baskets,” Jefferson shouted from the sideline before the run.
Kenny Lawrence scored underneath to give Walnut Ridge a 15-14 lead with 2:11 left in the first quarter. The Scots never trailed again as Magwood and Davis each followed with baskets.
Luke Ballinger hit a three – his third of the opening frame — but the Pioneers trailed 20-17 at the end of the first.
Bryson Lane drove the left side to make it 20-19 on the first possession of the second quarter, but that’s as close as Orange would get.
Ballinger tied a school record with seven threes and finished with 27 points, Lane added nine and Andre Irvin pitched in eight for the Pioneers (2-2).
“We aren’t where we need to be,” Calo said. “We gotta shore up our communication, shore up our weak-side defense and our response to adversity.”
Next up, Orange takes to the road to face Hilliard Darby in non-league play Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m.
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichnotwealthy or contact him at [email protected]