The Big Walnut girls basketball team used a 10-1 run in the first quarter to take the lead and a 7-0 run in the second quarter to take control on its way to a 52-40 victory at Olentangy Orange in non-league action Tuesday night in Lewis Center.
Senior Katie Cochran had 15 points and 14 rebounds and Avery Schone came off the bench and scored 14 points and dished out eight assists to lead the Golden Eagles (5-3), who snapped a three-game losing streak.
“It’s her third or fourth double-double of the year,” BW coach Jason Crawford said. “It’s an effort stat. She does a great job of never taking a play off or a possession off. She’s going after every rebound on every play.”
“I’m really good at being able to know where a ball is going when it hits the rim,” Cochran said about her rebounding. “I think my body type – it’s easy to slip through girls and steal those rebounds.”
Cochran, a post player for BW in the past, has taken to playing the wing this season like a fish to water. She’s tall and slender, standing at 5-foot-11. She can post up smaller players and use her speed to beat bigger opponents.
“I like it a lot because it forces mismatches,” she said. “I’ve worked a lot on my three-game over the summer. Just doing that, I think, really helped.”
Six players had first-quarter baskets for BW in a balanced first-half attack. Schone’s basket started a 10-1 run and Abby Facemyer, Rylee Bussen, Cochran and Erin Boehm followed as the Eagles built a 12-5 lead at the end of one.
“We had three tough losses in a row and (we’re) trying to battle back and stick together as a team through those times and adversity,” Crawford said. “We came out tonight and had a lot of intensity and a lot of energy.”
McKenna Ford buried a pair of three pointers around a pair of Cochran baskets and then found Aurelia Johnson for a layup underneath as the Pioneers got it as close as 16-13 with 3:27 left in the first half.
But, BW followed up with a 7-0 run to push the lead back to 10 and led 23-14 at the break.
BW pushed the lead as high as 17 in the fourth quarter before a Madi Felchin three-pointer helped the Pioneers close the gap.
Ford led the Pioneers (1-6) with 17 points on the strength of four threes and Riley Duffy hit two more and finished with eight points in the loss – Orange’s fifth straight.
“That was probably a career high for Riley and she stepped up,” Orange coach Bob Scott said. “McKenna came out and hit some (shots) early in the game. She was the only reason we were still in the game in the first half. That’s what we need from her and, not just her, but other kids.”
Johnson left the game in the second quarter with an apparent left knee injury. It’s another tough loss for the Pioneers on the injury front. Senior Alyssa Feeley has been battling a back injury as well and did not play in Tuesday’s game.
“Our effort was really good tonight. Alyssa Feeley is out for a while and we don’t know for sure when she’ll be back – maybe soon, maybe later – I don’t know,” Scott said. “We need some other kids to step up.”
Both teams are back in league action next. BW hosts Newark in OCC-Capital play Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. and Orange visits Westerville South in OCC-Buckeye play Friday night at 7:30 p.m.
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichnotwealthy or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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