The Pio’s had had a successful season in the new OCC. Coach Calo’s boys finished with a record of 11-7 in the regular season. They won their first playoff game at home against Big Walnut but then fell at Pickerington North in the second round of the playoffs. They had a big five game win streak in the month of January, and their biggest win was at home in their third to last regular season matchup where they beat OCC Central Champs Hilliard Bradley at home.
The boys started the season against Watkins Memorial with a 76-60 win. Then they fell to Davidson 66-59. Two wins in a row over winter break against Jerome and UA, then they lost to State Runner Up Westerville Central and Hilliard Bradley. The largest margin of victory came at home against Desales in a 89-64 barn burner. Then Coffman and Liberty beat the Pioneers. The five game win streak ensued, with wins against Louisville (67-50), rival Olentangy (76-63), Watterson (51-44), Coffman (65-55), and Delaware Hayes (61-46). Then they won the next three games in a row, UA, Walnut Ridge, and Bradley all fell to the Pioneers. The final two regular season games were losses to Davidson and Powell. They beat Big Walnut 52-49. Pickerington North ended the season for the Pioneers 60-54.
A playoff win was big for this group, avenging the disappointment of the season before. The boys started off the year on a Covid-19 pause, and it was very difficult for the team to develop early season chemistry with almost no “training camp” This season was difficult enough with the brand new OCC. The Central is a strong division in every single sport, and it was no different in basketball.
It was a fun season, and just nice to play basketball again.
The boys lose some key senior players this year with Jason Foster, Andre Irvin Jr., Jordan Bethel, and John Stearns. But the up and coming talent is immense. Aidan King and Eddie Brown will most definitely be strong leaders on the team next year, and Mike McCollum is going to be a key player for years to come. There is a lot of hope for the future of Pioneer basketball.
By: Tannor Lambert