The Big Walnut boys basketball team scored 21 straight in the second quarter to run away with a 74-32 victory over Centerburg in non-league action Saturday night in Sunbury.
The win caps a 3-0 week for the Golden Eagles (7-6), who have won four of their last five games.
“It’s been a really good week,” BW coach Brett Bartlett said. “It’s a good feeling, but you can never be satisfied. Once you start winning – you just want to continue to win and want more. That’s what we talked about in the locker room.
“How did we get here? By working hard and playing together every single day in practice. We’re starting to see the benefits of that right now.”
The big week is especially important considering the Eagles are coming off back-to-back four-win seasons.
“We’re buying into (Coach Bartlett’s) system and it’s proving (with) the results,” senior post Donovan Pugh said. “We started off a little slow, but now with this run, we’re starting to go places. This team has potential.”
Brody Lawhun fed Sam Elliott for a basket underneath with about a minute left in the first quarter to break a 10-10 tie.
“We got off to a slow start, but I think we all came together and realized that we (had) to get our minds in the game,” Elliott said. “We moved the ball around really well and we just worked as a team really well and it clicked.”
Jordan Koebel finished the frame off with a pair of free throws to extend the lead to four.
Nathan Montgomery fed Carson Becker for a three to open up the second and Elliott stepped in front of a pass and took it for an easy layup to push the lead to 19-10 and the Eagles were off to the races.
Elliott scored all six of his points during the run.
“He gave us a spark and a little bit of toughness,” Bartlett said. “He played physical and brought some energy for us off the bench.”
Kegan Hienton scored eight of BW’s first 10 points before being forced to the bench with two fouls late in the first quarter.
Centerburg was particularly strong on the offensive glass, pulling down five boards to keep possessions alive.
Then, Pugh – 6-foot-7 in stature – stepped into the game and stepped up. He tallied all eight of his points in the second quarter and finished with eight rebounds to lead the team.
“Me with my size – I just tried to own the glass and help my team when I came in,” Pugh said. “I got a couple of points along the way where my teammates set me up well.”
“He stepped in and played some defense for us and rebounded the ball,” Bartlett said. “He’s worked at it and has earned his playing time. If he continues to produce like he is – he’s only going to see more playing time. He’s a great kid and we’re really happy for him.”
His size inside helped BW hold Centerburg to just three Hayden Hackinson free throws as the lead ballooned to 39-13 at the break.
Brody Lawhun’s and-one pushed it to 44-13 before Hackinson scored underneath to give the Trojans their first basket from the field in almost two full quarters.
Koebel knocked down two of his three three-pointers in the third quarter to finish with a team-high 11 points to go with five assists and four rebounds.
Tyler Shuster also buried three triples, including two in the fourth quarter to help the Eagles push the lead as high as 46.
Hienton and Carson Becker finished with 10 points apiece and Montgomery dished out five assists.
“(We’re) pretty well balanced and I think that’s a good thing,” Bartlett said. “Koebel led us tonight and Nathan Montgomery led us last night with 21 and he only had two tonight. But, he’s as happy as anyone because we won.”
Hackinson led with 12 points and Carter Jones chipped in seven, including all five as the Trojans (3-9) built a 5-0 lead early.
BW continues its non-league slate at Olentangy Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m.
“We’re on a 3-0 roll right now and we’re going into Olentangy,” Elliott said. “We think we can compete with them and we’re ready to roll.”
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