LEWIS CENTER – Olentangy girls basketball coach Kate Cummings knew before the season started that the team might struggle at first with the motion offense, but it’d be better for the team in the long term.
Those struggles have been apparent as Olentangy dropped four of its previous five games coming into Saturday’s non-league game against Logan — a stretch which included three 31-point games.
“We went through a tough road against different types of defenses – so, it has obviously been a growing process,” Cummings said. “We’ve spent this Christmas break really, really working on offense.”
Olentangy saw the fruits of that labor with a steady performance in its 57-43 win over Logan Saturday afternoon.
“We’ve chosen continuity and motion offenses,” Cummings said. “And the reason is – as the season goes along – you get better at them. If you run sets, people scout it and those sets aren’t there.”
Rebounding was a big reason why. Kennedie Doup finished with a game-high 14 points and added 10 rebounds and Bridget Stafford came off the bench and scored 13 points on the strength of three three-pointers.
Olivia Margolies pulled down 16 rebounds, including 10 on the offensive end, to go with 12 points, five assists and four steals in a well-rounded performance after sitting out last season.
“Taking a year definitely hurts,” Margolies said. “The first couple of games – it took a while to get back into the pace of the game.”
Lauren Tarpey pulled down eight rebounds for Olentangy, which had a 47-38 advantage on the glass.
Olentangy has had to lean on its defense this season, waiting for its offense to find its footing.
Meg Spohn also had four steals and scored eight points on the offensive end. The point guard showed some aggressiveness on the drive, which pleased Cummings.
“I thought she made great decisions,” Cummings said. “She’s always been solid defensively and taking care of the ball. (Today), she made great decisions and that next step is leading her to get some shooting opportunities. The shots she took today were all perfect shots for her. You learn when to shoot, then you learn to make the shot.”
Emilie Eggleston knocked down a three-pointer with 52 seconds left in the half to give Logan a 31-28 lead at the break. It was one of five triples for Logan in the first half.
But it was a struggle from there as the Olentangy defense held Logan to five field goals in the second half.
“We just started playing timid,” Logan coach Jessica Harris said. “We didn’t come out as aggressively as we did in the first half. We shot it hesitantly, we didn’t shoot with confidence … and we didn’t really give ourselves second-chance opportunities and that really killed us.”
Eggleston finished with 12 points and six rebounds, Avery Thompson and Emmalee Dicken added nine points apiece, Lexis Fickel led with eight rebounds and Bethan Starlin pulled down seven boards to lead Logan.
“A lot of the girls don’t have a lot of varsity experience, so close games like this – we haven’t been able to close,” Harris said. “Obviously, we’ll learn from this … it’s just inexperience.”
Olentangy is back in action Friday at rival Olentangy Orange in OCC-Buckeye play. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
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