It took one game for Olentangy girls basketball coach Mike Daniels to change offenses. And it worked.
Host Olentangy used its new, old fast-tempo offense, coupled with a stifling defense to run away with a 65-40 victory over Dublin Jerome in non-league action Friday night in Lewis Center.
Grace Pennington, Olivia Margolies and Allison Raiff each had big second halves to pace Olentangy (1-1). Pennington and Olivia Margolies each had 14 points and Raiff added 10 to give Daniels his first girls basketball varsity win.
“It’s exciting being at a school this size … it’s what I’ve been waiting for,” Daniels said.
Daniels made the switch in styles after a 59-43 loss to Magnificat in the season opener.
“We weren’t prepared the first game … a little shell-shocked,” Daniels said. “(In) game one, I kind of took them in slow … I was trying to break them in.
“That wasn’t going to get it done. This is an up-tempo team — we really have to get up and get after it to be effective. This is going to be our style now.”
Pennington and Raiff scored Olentangy’s first 12 points of the second half, which turned a 29-16 halftime lead to a 19-point advantage midway through the third.
“We kept up the intensity and really turned it up in the third quarter,” Pennington said. “All of us have really good team chemistry – we’re really good at seeing each other on the floor.”
Molly Delaney had assists on three of the team’s first four baskets during the run and finished with seven dimes to lead the way. Olentangy led 46-28 through three.
“Allie stepped up and was the team-leader,” Daniels said.
Olivia Margolies took over in the fourth, scoring all eight points of an 8-0 run to push the lead to 26. She finished with seven rebounds and two steals.
“(Jerome) played us man and we’re pretty big, so I tried to exploit that,” Daniels said. “We’re still a work in progress.”
Olentangy’s defense was stout with 13 steals for the game led by Emily Margolies’ four thefts. Emily Margolies also led with eight rebounds.
“(The Margolies sisters) are both D-1 volleyball players, but I’ve got them now, so I’m going to try to exploit (their size),” Daniels said.
Olentangy held Jerome (0-2) scoreless for the first 4:35 of the first quarter on its way to an 8-0 start.
Stephanie Cline and Rachel Rumias each hit threes to help Jerome close to 14-10 at the end of the first.
Remias paced the Celtics with 15 points. Alexandria Madry added eight points, six boards and a pair of steals and Mitali Singh had three assists to lead the team.