Boys Basketball

Barry scores 17, Edgewood halts losing streak with win over Talawanda

Edgewood’s Connor Ballantyne is guarded by Talawanda’s Bryce James.

TRENTON — Jaylen Barry wasn’t just preaching it. The Edgewood senior guard let it be known on the court.

“I feel like we needed this for a while,” he said. “We’ve been battling and battling, and then we just let things slip away.”

The Cougars didn’t let this one go Tuesday night.

Barry scored a game-high 17 points, Kale Reynolds added 11 and Edgewood snapped its six-game losing streak with a 67-44 home nonconference victory over Talawanda.

The Cougars (3-9) have now taken 15 out of the last 16 meetings against the Brave (1-14), who won 49-46 on Jan. 16, 2021. Brayden Smith added eight points and eight rebounds for Edgewood.

“Slow start — was a little worried about that with not having school today, it being Tuesday night and it being nonconference,” Cougars coach Jason Osterman said. “But other than that, we turned it around and had a good second quarter. Third quarter came out a little slow again, then we turned it on in the fourth quarter to finish.

“It was good to get a win. I told our guys that it’s tough winning varsity basketball games — no matter who you’re playing on our schedule. So we will celebrate every win.”

Cale Leitch had a team-high 16 points, Bryce James added 13 and Sam Lippmann chipped in with 11 for Talawanda, which scored the game’s first nine points. Miller Falls’ stick back at the 3-minute mark put the Cougars on the board.

“That was actually the best start that we’ve had,” Talawanda first-year coach Taylor Alstatt said. “That was kind of our goal coming in — to create a little separation in the first quarter. We’ve struggled to do that. So I was very happy with that. But it kind of goes in different directions, especially when we don’t have a deep bench. Guys get tired. I was very impressed with the start.”

Edgewood outscored Talawanda 20-10 in the second quarter and owned a 29-24 advantage heading into the half. The Cougars went on a tear in the second half — highlighted by a 27-point fourth quarter. The Cougars made their first eight shots in the final eight minutes.

Osterman said the strong showing down the stretch was a reassurance in comparison to his program’s last couple of outings. Edgewood took defeats to Monroe on Friday and Eaton on Saturday — games the Cougars were winning or tied going into the fourth period.

“That’s the kind of thing with our team. It could be anybody, any given night that plays well for us or shoots well for us,” Osterman said. “Unfortunately, on Friday, none of them really played that well in the fourth quarter. It kind of got away from us.

“We need one guy to step it up and have a good night, then everybody else to just contribute and score eight, nine, 10 points.”


James, a senior guard who averages 12.7 points a game, said Talawanda’s record doesn’t mirror its efforts during a rough season and the team simply just wants to get better — especially on the defensive end.

“We’ve been talking a lot about defense recently,” he said. “The past two games — today was a little better — but the past two games were terrible on defense. That’s something we focused on a lot this past practice.

“We all love basketball, so this is why we’re here to do it. We’ll just keep playing.”


“I think you have to focus on, ‘Are you getting better?’ You have to look at basketball for what it is and the reality of the game,” Alstatt said of his Brave. “I feel like I’ve been around the game long enough to know that whether you’re 1-14 or 14-1, are you going forward and upward. I think our team had been doing that the previous two games. This game, we did a really good job. So I think we’re getting back on track. That fourth quarter was tough. The last two games, I feel like we fell off a little bit. I’m looking at it from that lens.

“Our guys fight hard. We don’t have a guy that doesn’t compete on this team. They all compete,” Alstatt added. “Our guys have shown that if we can weather the storm in the first and second quarters, we can stay in games.”


Both teams get back to action on Friday. Edgewood hosts Bellbrook, while Talawanda travels to Mount Healthy.

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