By Michael Rich
Colin Shepherd scored nine points in overtime and 22 points overall to fuel Olentangy Orange in a 58-47 win at Delaware Hayes to stay undefeated in OCC-Capital boys basketball play Friday night.
“We told ourselves that if we were going to win this game, it was going to be based on toughness,” Shepherd said. “We just rallied around each other and put together some great runs.”
The Pioneers never led in regulation, but Cam Barron’s old-fashioned three-point play with 1:18 left finally tied the game and ultimately sent it to overtime.
“Our coaches just kept pressing the toughness button,” Shepherd said. “I thought we played real tough in the second half.”
Grant Gossard’s bunny in the lane on the first possession of overtime gave Orange its first lead and Shepherd and Barron followed with threes on successive possessions to help the Pioneers to an 8-0 spurt to open overtime.
“We want to go inside first and then inside-out,” Pioneers coach Anthony Calo said. “We got a bucket inside and then got two out. We do have shooters, it’s just a matter of getting them comfortable. Those were two big threes by those young men … major threes by Colin and Cam.”
Shepherd went 6-for-6 at the free throw line in the extra period to seal the win for Orange (7-0, 4-0 OCC). He also chipped in three boards and two assists.
The Pacers opened 8-2 thanks to a pair of three-pointers by freshman Terin Kinsway, and built the lead up to 25-13 after another Kinsway basket in the second quarter capped an 8-0 run.
“Delaware shot the ball well in the first half. We tried to speed them up, but they played the way they were supposed to play, so credit to them,” Shepherd said.
“We got to be more consistent,” Calo said. “First quarter, we didn’t play our brand of basketball and that’s great in-the-pit defense. We had a lot of breakdowns in the first quarter. I think our focus was — no way around it — weak.”
But Orange kept chipping away, which started with a 7-2 run to close the first half 27-20, and 6-2 down the stretch to finally pull even.
“I really liked Delaware’s pace tonight — give them credit — (Pacers coach Jordan Blackburn) did a great job tonight,” Calo said. “But we knew we needed to speed them up as the game went on and I think our kids did that. There was no quit in them, and for that, I’m super proud of them.”
Gossard scored 16 points for the Pioneers and led them with seven rebounds, five blocks and three steals. Evan Lewis added nine points.
Hayes (2-4, 1-2) held the ball for the final shot after a timeout with 59 seconds left in the fourth. Zach McIntire drove the lane and tried to feed it to Sam Midura on the right side, but it was deflected. Kinsway recovered just inside the three-point arc on the wing and tried to get a shot off, but Gossard recovered quickly and blocked it out of bounds with 0.5 seconds left. The Pacers didn’t get a shot off before the buzzer.
“I’m proud of our kids — I thought they played extremely hard,” Blackburn said. “We had chances. What we want is opportunities to win games like this. I would rather play games against good teams and have a chance to win down the stretch. And we had our opportunities.”
Shepherd, who was held to three points in the first half, scored six of the Pioneers’ seven points in the third period.
“We really wanted to key Shepherd, whether we were in man or zone,” Blackburn said. “I think he had most (of his points) in overtime. So, for the large majority of the game, we played well.”
McIntire led Hayes with 16 points and had six rebounds. Kinsway had 13 points, three rebounds and two assists and Jake Bourget added 12 points and a pair of steals for the Pacers. Sam Midura led Hayes with seven rebounds.
“We had our opportunities and I thought we, very easily, could have won the game,” Blackburn said. “But, I’m excited to get back with this group — they’re very resilient.”
The win keeps Orange ahead of the OCC-Capital pack, namely Mount Vernon, New Albany and Worthington Kilbourne, who all won Friday to stay within a game in the loss column.
It’s also the Pioneers’ first win against Hayes since Feb. 17, 2012, snapping a six game losing streak.
Hayes plays its third game of the week tonight at Teays Valley. Tip is scheduled for 6 p.m.
Orange, meanwhile, plays back-to-back nights before the holiday break. The Pioneers begin with OCC-Capital foe Franklin Heights Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m.
Delaware Christian 68, Madison Christian 45
The Eagles shook off a slow start with a huge third quarter, outscoring host Madison Christian 25-8 to flip a 28-23 halftime deficit into a nice cushion heading into the fourth.
DCS (3-3, 3-0 MOCAL) had 11 offensive rebounds and seven three-pointers in the game-changing third.
Daniel Gaudio led nine DCS scorers with 15 points, followed by Adam Standley and Drew Sedoti, who had 14 and 10, respectively.
Also: Liberty 61, Westland 49; New Albany 70, Olentangy 67, OT; Mount Vernon 50, Big Walnut 33.
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichdelgazette.