LEWIS CENTER, Ohio -- Olentangy Orange combined lights out shooting with strong team defense to convincingly defeat DeSales Saturday night by a final score of 89-64.
Senior guard Andre Irvin led the Pioneers with 25 points in a dominant performance from start to finish.
Mikey McCollum added 16 points on four threes, while Jason Foster rounded out the double figure scoring for the home team with 12 points.
In the loss, Obed Achirem led his team with 17 points while Davidson commit Des Watson scored 14.
Early in the first quarter Irvin and Foster both canned three-pointers that gave Orange a lead that they did not lose for the remainder of the game.
Pioneer sophomore Elias Lewis came in the game and contributed immediately as he hit a three at the buzzer to give Orange a 22-18 lead after the first quarter.
Watson played his best basketball of the night in the second quarter where he made many plays, including a drop step dunk after getting an offensive rebound. Watson led the game in scoring at halftime with 10 points, but struggled to continue that success in the second half.
Orange started the second half extremely hot as they outscored DeSales 29-13 in the third quarter. Foster found himself on the highlight reel as he threw down a powerful one-hand dunk of his own.
Orange shot the ball extremely well for the entirety of the night, however they also caused fits on the defensive end for Watson and all of DeSales’ guards. It was a strong team effort for the Pioneers.
The Pioneers are back in action Tuesday night when they travel to Dublin Coffman. DeSales will look to bounce back Tuesday at home as they host St. Charles.
Andre Irvin (5’9 PG / Olentangy Orange / 2021): Irvin had himself a day Saturday night, going off for 25 points in a blowout victory. The five-foot-nine point guard scored from all over the floor, knocking down a pair of threes, finishing around the rim, and having some success from the midrange. He got to the basket quite often with his great handle and dribble moves and finished well by the rim. On the defensive end Irvin had active hands which helped him come up with multiple steals leading to easy scores on the other end. Irvin put on a great all around performance to lead his team to a dominant victory.
Obed Achirem (6’1 WG / DeSales / 2021): Achirem played with a motor that never ran out of steam tonight. The opening bucket of the game was on a hustle play where the senior fought for an offensive rebound and got the stickback. There might not have been a loose ball or rebound that Achirem didn’t come up with all night. Even when the game was decided towards the end, he was playing harder than anyone else on the hardwood. He also showed off the skill in his game as he went for a team-high 17 points. Finishing strong around the rim and making great passes to his teammates were just a few things he did well for his team. Achirem arguably had the most impressive game of either team because of his hustle and success.
Jason Foster (6’5 W / Olentangy Orange / 2021): Foster did it all for the Pioneers Saturday night in their big victory. The six-foot-five senior buried a couple of threes, consistently boxed out and rebounded, was on the floor fighting for loose balls, and threw down a one-handed dunk after grabbing an offensive rebound. Foster is a great athlete that he uses to his advantage on both ends of the floor. He showed off some great offensive moves, such as a spin baseline from the post he used to get a bucket. He also uses his frame to contest shots and move his feet very well when guarding the ball.
Des Watson (6’4 WG / DeSales / 2021): Despite not having the game he would have liked, Watson had some success in a variety of ways. He struggled shooting from outside, but was getting to the rim and to the line consistently. The Davidson commit showed off his athleticism on a drop step dunk in the second quarter that raised some eyebrows. The most impressive part of Watson’s game tonight was his passing. He had multiple dump off passes for layups and a no look pass to a backdoor cutter. It showed his maturity and IQ of the game that he could generate offense for his team despite not shooting it too well.