Season openers are full of mystery, so there was no telling what to expect from the Oldenburg Academy boys basketball team, which was playing its first game of the season on Friday. But there was no mystery in Edinburgh’s style of play: fast.
The mystery of who the better team was solved when the Class A No. 5 Lancers came out of their first home game with a 58-45 victory over the Twisters.
Landen Burton, Caleb Dewey and Jarrett Turner were all scoring aids in the Lancers’ victory, with the trio having 17, 15 and 11 points, respectively. Dewey was red hot coming into the matchup, but coach Keith Witty credits Burton for his ability to take advantage of Oldenburg’s focus on Dewey defensively.
“Landen is kind of that other option that guys don’t always concentrate on, and Landen can do some damage on the offensive end; he’s had some good games. But what Landen has really done well is rebound offensively,” Witty said.
Edinburgh came out aggressively, forcing Twister turnovers, and great ball movement found easy buckets for the Lancers. Edinburgh didn’t get too far ahead thanks to Dyllon Stewart’s persistence on the offensive glass and putbacks, but despite Stewart’s efforts the Lancers closed the first quarter with a 25-12 lead.
Oldenburg grabbed a slight hold onto Edinburgh’s fast-paced offense, intercepting Lancer lob attempts and stripping Edinburgh in the halfcourt. Jarrett Turner did manage to knock down two 3s for the Lancers, which was enough to keep Oldenburg from gaining too much ground. Edinburgh finished the half with a 38-26 lead.
“We started off so well then we didn’t shoot as well in the second quarter, so we talked a lot about trying to get a little more inside looks and doing a better job on their post player. That was kind of what we talked about at halftime,” Witty said.
Coming out of halftime, Burton connected for two points then Dewey took the reins, hitting a transition layup and then coming down with the extra offensive possession and finding Burton for an and-one to extend the Lancers lead to 45-29. Oldenburg responded with a 3, but Edinburgh ended up with the last laugh of the third quarter, getting a Travis Vidal 3 off a Travis Jones assist to extend the lead.
The Twisters drew closer in the fourth, but trips to the line by Jones and Riley Palmeter extended the lead back to 54-45 with 2:01 left in the game. The final blow to Oldenburg’s upset chances came in the form of Burton’s layup in the final 55 seconds.
Witty knows the importance of starting off undefeated and taking a win at home going into a conference matchup with Waldron tomorrow.
“Getting that first home win is always good,” he said. “Our third win of the season, you’re staying undefeated going into tomorrow’s first conference game. So it was big for us. Like I told my players, sometimes you’ve got to win an ugly one just to kind of stay level.”