The Delaware Hayes boys basketball team closed to within four points twice in the final quarter, but host Hilliard Bradley — on the doorstep of the state’s top 10 in the most recent AP hoops poll — cashed in on six of eight free throws in the final two minutes to pull away for a 55-45 OCC win Friday night.
Hayes coach Jordan Blackburn said he was proud of the way his guys played against one of the area’s top teams, but knows they can get better.
“We have very high expectations for our boys because we know they can meet them,” he said. “We have to keep getting better. This is a special group of young men.
“We will use this as feedback, in that we aren’t where we want to be yet … we’re excited to get a little bit better tomorrow morning.”
The Pacers were down just two, 24-22 at halftime, before the Jaguars used a 17-11 third-quarter surge to take a 41-33 lead into the final period.
Nate Griggs led Hayes with 16 points while Terin Kinsway added 13.
Newark 78, Big Walnut 47
The Golden Eagles hung around early, down just three points after the first quarter, but couldn’t keep up with the visiting Wildcats the rest of the way Friday in Sunbury.
Newark outscored Big Walnut 18-11 in the second, 26-17 in the third and 18-6 in the fourth.
Jordan Koebel and Sam Elliott led BW with 12 points apiece.
Westerville North 70, Olentangy Liberty 56
The Patriots struggled without leading scorer Ben Roderick in the lineup, falling to the visiting Warriors in OCC action Friday night in Powell.
Liberty fell behind 21-12 by the end of the first quarter and never quite recovered. North, which wrapped up at least a share of the conference crown with the win, won the second 15-14, the third 17-16 and the fourth 17-14 to smooth out the scoring summary.
Nick Nakasian led the Patriots with 17 points while Llwyatt Hofer and Henry Hinkle finished with eight apiece.
Westerville Central 79, Olentangy 75, 2 OT
Four Braves scored in double figures, but they couldn’t corral Thomas Hickman on the other end of the floor as the Warhawks hung on for a double-overtime win Friday in Lewis Center.
Hickman finished with a game-high 30 points — an effort which included a buzzer beater at the end of regulation and eight points in the second OT.
Alex Sieve led Olentangy with 20 points on the strength of four three-pointers. Sean Marks, who fouled out late in the second extra session, had 18 and Adam Wiff and Jerred Kinnaird finished with 12 apiece.
Also: Westerville South 53, Olentangy Orange 45.
Olentangy Liberty trailed at halftime, but responded in a big way out of the locker room to rally for a 48-41 OCC win over host Westerville North Friday night.
The Patriots outscored the Warriors 22-9 in the third quarter to take control.
Emma Humenay connected on five three-pointers on the way to a team-high 21 points while Kennedy Kashmiry chipped in 10 in the win. Gina Santangelo also had a big night, dishing out a school-record 12 assists.
Hilliard Bradley 57, Delaware Hayes 36
Alexis Amabile and Katie Smith combined for 24 of the Pacers’ 36 points, but the team’s overall shooting struggles continued during Friday’s OCC loss to the visiting Jaguars.
Hayes hit all 10 of its free throws, but connected on just 12 field goals for the game.
Delaware Christian 46, Gahanna Christian 16
Lyssi Snouffer finished with 27 points and 24 rebounds as the Eagles rolled to a lopsided win over Gahanna Christian Friday night in Delaware.
DCS’s Anna Fuller and Abbi Maurer were also solid in the win. Fuller finished with seven points and five steals while Maurer added six points, 15 boards and eight steals.
Westerville Central 52, Olentangy 39
The Braves fell into a 24-12 halftime hole they couldn’t dig out of Friday in Westerville.
Molley Delaney led Olentangy with a game-high 12 points while Najayah Shepherd sparked Central with 11 in the win.
Westerville South 51, Olentangy Orange 21
The Pioneers limited the Wildcats to just five first-quarter points, but they scored 17 in each of the next two quarters to roll to an OCC win Friday in Lewis Center.
McKenna Ford, Alyssa Feeley and Riley Duffy all had five points for Orange.
Olentangy Liberty picked up wins in each of the final three weight classes, but visiting and nationally ranked Massillon Perry was able to hold on for a 35-32 win Friday night in Powell.
The teams split the bouts 7-7. Trevor Lawson picked up a first-period pin against the fourth-ranked wrestler (182-pound division) in the state while Carson Kharchla knocked off the fourth-ranked 170-pounder in the nation to highlight the Patriots’ effort.
Other Liberty winners included Justin Callahan (160), Blake Saito (132), Jordan Rosselli (126), Luke Blaine (120) and Davin Lambert (285).