OLNEY - The Blue Knights moved to 6-0 and 1-0 in GRAC play after a 79-75 win over Wabash Valley on Wednesday night.
Olney Central's 6'5 freshman forward JJ Kalakon led all scorers with 25 points (10-15 FG, 4-6 FT) while grabbing 8 rebounds. Two other OCC players found double digits with 5'10 sophomore point guard Jalen Moore (16) and 6'4 sophomore forward Nick Walker (15).
Wabash started the game on a 8-2 run until Moore hit an elbow jumper to make the game 8-4. Wabash Valley's 6'1 sophomore point guard Marcus Garrett followed with an offensive put back. OCC's Nick Walker responded with a pull up jumper and then a fast break layup on a pass from Moore to pull the Blue Knights within two. Wabash Valley answered on one of the four 3-pointers hit by 6'2 sophomore Bobby Harvey to take a 13-8 advantage. Walker responded with a 3-pointer of his own to pull the Blue Knights back within two.
The first tie of the game came at the 12:54 mark of the first half on a Kalakon and-1 to put the score at 15-15. A bucket by Wabash Valley's 6'5 freshman forward Isaac Stanback put the warriors back up 17-15.
Olney Central took the lead for the first time (29-28) after 6'3 freshman guard CE Talton drove the length of the court and made a high arcing left handed layup off the glass.
Garrett answered right back with a 3-pointer to put Wabash back on top 31-29 with 4:52 to go in the first half.
An intense end of the first half started with a Garrett full court drive and bucket with 53 seconds to go that was followed by Moore driving to the basket getting fouled and sinking both free throws with 36 ticks left.
Then Wabash's 6'2 forward Lamond Johnson milked the clock until he finally drove to the basket and to only miss a layup.
Talton came up with the defensive rebound and pitched the ball ahead to 6'1 freshman guard Cayman Hayes. Hayes connected on a fall away jumper on the wing with 4.5 seconds left to give the Blue Knights a 39-37 advantage at the break.
Kalakon got the Blue Knights rolling to start the second half scoring the first 6 points of the half for OCC. Kalakon's first bucket came on a post score and then an offensive put back to extend the OCC lead 43-37.
Garrett answered with a 3-pointer and Kalakon responded with a drive and bucket.
Then Wabash's 6'5 sophomore forward Raekwon Drake scored 2 of his 5 points on a post score and OCC's Moore followed that by sinking two free throws to put the score at 47-42 Blue Knights.
Wabash Valley then went on a 6-0 which included a dunk from 6'9 freshman center Karl Jones, Garrett layup, and a Stanback layup to give the warriors a 48-47 lead.
It was Kalakon who answered the bell with a conventional three point play on a pass from Talton with 14:34 to go in the game to regain the lead 50-48.
Hayes followed with drive and floater over 6'9 Jones to extend the OCC lead to 52-48.
Stanback answered with a baseline drive to put the score at 52-50 and then a three point play to give Wabash a 53-52 advantage.
Kalakon followed suit with back to back buckets of his own to give Olney the lead again 56-53 with 11:45 to go.
Harvey hit a corner 3-pointer to tie the game at 56, and then Kalakon responded again with a bucket to regain the lead 58-56.
Wabash Valley and Olney Central continued to trade baskets the rest of the way until the 2:43 mark when Moore hit a 3-pointer on an assist from Walker that started with a loose ball kept alive by 6'6 freshman forward Jordan Tchuente to take a 75-71 lead.
OCC then got a post score from Kalakon and two more free throws from Moore to finish the game.
The Blue Knights shot 44 percent (28-63) overall and 28 percent (5-18) from three. The Blue Knights connected on 18-27 free throws for 67 percent.
Olney Central's scoring was rounded out by Talton (6), 6'8 freshman forward Elijah Farr (5), 6'5 freshman forward Cobie Montgomery (5), Hayes (4), 6'3 sophomore guard JT Wheeler (2), and Tchuente (1).
Tchuente grabbed 6 rebounds, Montgomery & Talton 5, Walker 4, Farr 2, Hayes 1.
Wabash Valley shot 42 percent (30-72) overall and 25 percent (7-28) from three. Wabash connected on 8-14 free throws for 57 percent.
Wabash was led in scoring by Garrett (22), Harvey (15), Yusuf (13), Stanback (10), Burks & Drake (5), Jones (4), and Weatherspoon (3)
Head Coach Mike Burris on the win - "This is a big time road win. We're so proud of our guys and how they stuck to our game plan. We didn't shoot it well from the line to begin the game but we made some big ones down the stretch. Our guys stayed the course. We found ourselves down by six the majority of the first half but our guys hung in there and made plays."
Next Game - Tuesday, November 26 at 7:30pm at Rend Lake College.