Scotus Central Catholic boys basketball put together its most consistent night of offense and was rewarded with a road victory on Tuesday night.
Scotus scored a season-high 66 points in regulation and made it three wins in the last five games during a 66-58 win at Norfolk Catholic. The Shamrocks were 0-6 before a win over Schuyler on Dec. 27 that jump started the recent stretch.
They scored 68 the following night in a loss to Twin River, but that took three overtime periods. Scotus had been scoring just over 39 points per game before this recent stretch in which SCC has averaged 53, won on the road at 10-4 St. Paul and now at 5-6 Norfolk Catholic.
Garrett Oakley led the way with 16 points, Eric Mustard had 14, and Josh Faust 13 as the 'Rocks needed just 33 attempts and made 20 (61 percent) of those. Scotus also went to the line 28 times, hit 18 foul shots and sank eight 3-pointers.
"We shot the ball well inside. That's where the offense came from, really. We just took care of the basketball after the first half of the first quarter, only had about six turnovers the rest of the game and got a lot of shots off," coach Tyler Swanson said. "When we get looks for Josh (Faust), Kaden (Young) and those guys from the perimeter, they knock them down.
"Then we can get the ball to Garrett (Oakley) and Dalton (Borchers) and they can score. That's kind of where it all came from."
Both teams were deadly from the outside. Scotus hit eight 3s on the night while Norfolk Catholic mostly settled for 3s, hitting 15. SCC had six of those in the first half before cooling off. The Knights were split almost evenly between eight the first half and seven in the second.
But while Norfolk Catholic scored 45 points on 3s, it also mostly settled for jump shots, a scenario any high school coach will welcome.
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On the other end of the floor, Scotus faces mostly a 1-3-1 defense. Zones have been a struggle for the Shamrocks to break. Normally they've tried to run specific sets against man and a handful against zone. Tuesday was as creative and decisive as Swanson has seen his group against a zone look.
"Josh had 12 first points in the first half. That forced them to have to put two guys on his side of the floor at all times. When you take away one corner in the 1-3-1, the other side is wide open," Swanson said. "That's where we put Garrett. Garrett was able to take advantage of that and score some points in the second half to extend our lead."
Scotus trailed by three after the first quarter then exploded for 23 in the second and took at five-point lead into the break. The 'Rocks held it the rest of the way thanks to going 18 of 28 at the free throw line.
"It's really encouraging," Swanson said. "Norfolk Catholic" plays real aggressive. They want you to take about four or five passes then shoot the ball. If we were patient, we were going to get a good shot every time, and that's what we were."
Scotus is now 3-8 and is back in action on Friday hosting C-1 No. 4 Lincoln Christian.
"We took advantage of the zone and hit some shots from the perimeter in the first half," Swanson said. "Kaden Young earned some minutes after playing well on JV and did a nice job. Anytime you can do that and kick start another guy in the offense, that helps us out tremendously."
Nate Tenopir is the sports editor of The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at email@example.com.