By Michael Rich
The Olentangy Orange girls basketball team is trying to find itself.
That much is clear after dropping a 52-26 decision at Worthington Kilbourne Monday night to open the season.
Julia Tout had 19 points and Maggie Crozier added 11 to lead the Wolves. The duo combined for 12 points to send the Wolves to a 24-11 lead at the break, which included outscoring the Pioneers 15-6 in the second quarter.
“When you turn the ball over, it leads to layups,” Orange coach Bob Scott said. “They’ve played a game, we haven’t – it shows. We’re not quite ready for that yet.”
Kilbourne also outscored Orange 17-6 in the final period and 25-8 after a three-pointer by Lena Mancini had cut the deficit to 10 midway through the third quarter.
“We were probably at least 3-for-15 (from three-point range),” Scott said. “That and turnovers — just bad decision making — that’s the biggest story of the game.”
Last season, the Pioneers more than tripled their win total from the previous year. But, they are down both of their two top scorers — Mikaela Lyons and Lexi Werling, who graduated last spring.
Scott substituted girls in and out looking for somebody to step up. Nine different players scored for the Pioneers, who were led by Hannah Sargent with five.
“Everybody played … I probably had 14 or 15 girls in the game,” he said. “I was searching for somebody that was going to do something. I had five kids that got in and that was their first varsity game.”
He said that a lack of a post player will be a problem all season.
“We’ve got 21 games left and the things we have are fixable,” Scott said. “Do we have a post presence? No, we don’t — especially when they have a 6-1 girl and a 6-2 girl. That’s going to be the story all season.”
The Pioneers open the home schedule with league foe New Albany Friday night at 7:30 p.m.
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichdelgazette.