PEMBERVILLE — Eastwood junior Dayquan Oliver scored 20 points as the Eagles opened the season and Northern Buckeye Conference play by blasting visiting Maumee, 66-22, Tuesday.
Oliver scored 15 of his points in the first half as the Eagles posted a 40-16 halftime lead and then enjoyed a running clock most of the second half, allowing the Panthers to score only six second half points.
Nine different players got into the scoring column for Eastwood coach Jason Faykosh’s team. Junior guard Andre Lewis scored 12 points, junior Drew Kachmarik scored nine, and sophomore guard Drew Luidhardt scored eight points.
Senior Kadyn Donnell scored seven, senior forward Andrew Badenhop scored five, freshman Cam Schumaker and senior guard Caleb Souder scored two points apiece, and sophomore forward Hunter Lauer added one point.
For the Panthers, sophomore guard Will Kubicz scored eight points, junior forward Max Biernacki and junior guard Carter Koepfler scored four apiece, and Lukas Polkinghorn, Ben Kubicz, and Brock Heard added two points apiece.
For Faykosh, an Eastwood graduate who was the Bowling Green boys junior varsity coach before returning to his alma mater, this is his second year at the helm after the Eagles finished 15-7 overall and 8-4 in the NBC last year.
Faykosh has six returning letter winners, including Badenhop, Souder, Oliver, Lewis, Donnell, and senior Ian Sibbersen. Lewis and Souder lead the backcourt.
“Andre Lewis and Caleb Souder are both very athletic guards that can get to the rim,” Faykosh said.
“Dayquan Oliver and Drew Luidhardt are both quick point guards that handle the ball and shoot well from the outside. Kadyn Donnell is a bigger guard that shoots it well from the perimeter.”
Badenhop, at 6-foot-1, will play anywhere on the court he is asked while Drew Kachmarik transferred from Toledo St. Francis, where his father Jamie Kachmarik is coach.
“Andrew Badenhop is a do it all player,” Faykosh said. “He shoots, rebounds, and defends at a high level. Drew Kachmarik is a great shooter from the outside and has a very high basketball IQ.”
Eastwood’s tallest players are Lauer and junior Cooper Dierksheide, who both stand 6-2. Sibbersen, also 6-1, will work Eastwood’s post, and don’t be fooled by his size.
“Ian is extremely strong and a tough post player who holds his ground well on defense and finishes around the rim,” Faykosh said.
Because of their lack of size, the Eagles expect to play an “uptempo style game with a lot of ball pressure on defense,” Faykosh said.
“We have a lot of guard and our guards are athletic enough to bother opposing ball handlers,” Faykosh said.
“Our strengths will be our defensive pressure and athleticism from our guards. Our weakness will be our outside shooting consistency and our interior size.”
Lewis and Kachmarik are just now coming into their own at Eastwood, with Kachmarik being a welcome gift to the roster.
“Andre Lewis could be in for a really big year,” Faykosh said. “He ended the year really strong and had a great football season. Looking for him to take on a bigger role this year.
“Drew Kachmarik immediately has been one of the best shooters and passers on the team. High IQ player and understands the offense.”
Luidhardt, who has Eastwood basketball family heritage on multiple sides of his family (Luidhardt and Gardner), and Schumaker are expected to contribute immediately.
“Drew Luidhardt was a JV player last year that is looking to contribute in a big way,” Faykosh said. “Another very smart player who can shoot the ball. He stands out with his hustle on the defensive end.
“Cam Schumaker is a freshman but has had a great start to the year, very athletic and can get to the basket at will. He could be a contributor as the season goes on once he gets used to the speed of the varsity game.”
Although Eastwood started with a 44-point win over NBC newcomer Maumee, Faykosh says the Eagles will have their work cut out if they want to win a league title, especially in taking on Genoa and their standout player Walter Plantz.
“I expect us to finish second or third in the league,” Faykosh said. “Genoa will be a very tough matchup for everyone this year, but I think second and third place are up for grabs and I think we could be right there in the mix.
“The competition in the NBC should be very even overall. Rossford graduating their senior class from last year and the league taking in Maumee and Oak Harbor will make every NBC matchup a competitive game.