By Michael Rich
With the Olentangy Liberty girls basketball team, the game can’t be like a box of chocolates.
The Patriots set the standard offensively in Wednesday’s 84-46 win at home over district rival Olentangy Orange.
“The first three weeks of the season — through our scrimmages — it was a roller coaster,” Liberty coach Sam Krafty said. “I explained to our kids that one of the things in life that I don’t like are surprises.
“Forrest Gump is my favorite movie. But when we put them in the game — it can’t be a box of chocolates. There has to be a certain way that we play. It’s not who we play, it’s how we play.”
They even had shirts made up. They say, “Patriots basketball — you know what you’re going to get.”
The season-high 84 points and the 13 three-pointers, which tied a Liberty school record, epitomize how they want to play … every game.
“We’d love to go out and make 13 threes every game — I don’t know if we’re going to do that,” Krafty said. “But that is one thing that we do do well.”
Alexa Fisher is still trying to get her legs under her after missing the first couple of games recovering from knee surgery.
Wednesday, she looked like the Fisher of old. She scored a game-high 20 points, 18 of which came from behind the three-point line, which tied her own school record.
“It felt good (to shoot well) because the Marysville game, I didn’t shoot that well,” she said. “It’s still coming back. I feel good physically and my knee is good.”
She hit four triples in the first quarter alone to help Liberty (6-0) get off to a fast start, which included three during a 14-2 run to open the game.
“I thought she was on her way to 40 points,” Pioneers coach Bob Scott said. “She’s one of the better players in the Central District. If she plays like that every night, she is.”
Scott said afterward it didn’t matter what kind of defense his team played — there’s no stopping a team that shoots as well as Liberty shot Wednesday.
“We knew (Liberty) was a tough matchup for us, which is why we started out in a zone,” he said. “Obviously, I might have stayed in it a little too long — we tried two or three different things, but what are you going to do? When they shoot like that, there’s nothing you can do.”
Lauren Hofer scored a season-high 15 points and pulled down six boards and dished out four assists for Liberty.
Breanna Yashko continued her reliable play for the Patriots with 12 points — all on threes — and dished out three assists.
The Pioneers doubled their average in points in the loss, which Scott said was a positive. Eleven different players scored for Orange (1-5), led by senior Bree McCague, who scored seven. She also pulled down seven rebounds and added two steals to her stat line.
“The effort was great,” Scott said. “We got into a little scoring slump (last week). We had some kids make some shots they hadn’t been making for a while.”
Both teams return to league play Friday night. Liberty travels to Westland and Orange hosts Delaware Hayes. Both games are scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichdelgazette.