POWELL, Ohio -- In a game that St. Charles never relinquished control of, the visiting Cardinals used its size, strength and lockdown defense to put away Olentangy Orange, 66-42. A balanced scoring assault and control of the glass propelled St. Charles (8-1) to its eighth-consecutive win, which is tied for first in the area.
Despite a hot-shooting first quarter from Orange (5-3) and especially senior guard Zack Stablein, St. Charles would lock down in the second quarter and beyond, heading into halftime with a 32-22 lead. More impressive for St. Charles was the fact that the Cardinals went two and a half quarters without committing a foul, as the defending CCL champs forced Orange not only into bad shots, but defended cleanly while doing it.
While Orange would pull as close as 32-27 a few minutes into the third quarter, St. Charles would strike back, outscoring the Pioneers 34-15 the rest of the way.
Leading the way for St. Charles was senior guard Braden Budd, who finished with 19 points, 16 of which in the first half. Budd knocked down four three-point field goals, showing incredible touch from behind-the-arc, while performing nearly as well on the defensive perimeter.
Joining Budd in double-figures was senior center Nick Muszynski, who finished with 16 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks, completely dominating Thursday's game on the inside. Senior wing guard George Javitch added 11 points, all of which in the second half, while senior forward Tavon Brown played a point-forward role, finishing with eight points, five rebounds and six assists.
For Orange, Stablein led the way with 14 points, knocking down four threes, three of which in the first quarter alone. Senior wing Cam Barron added eight points, while no other Pioneer scorer finished with more than six points.
With the win, St. Charles will look to stay hot, as it resumes CCL play on Jan. 6 at home vs. Watterson. Winning eight-straight this season, St. Charles is 30-3 in its last 33 games.
For Orange, the Pioneers will look to rebound on Jan. 3 on the road at Hilliard Davidson.