By Ben Stroup
Seth O’Neal poured in a team-best 12 points and Carter Kinnaird added 11 as the Olentangy boys basketball team edged host Big Walnut 62-55 in OCC-Capital Division action Friday in Sunbury.
The game was tight throughout, but the Braves (6-5, 5-3 OCC) made their move in the second quarter, outscoring the Golden Eagles (3-12, 1-7 OCC) 18-13 to balloon a 16-15 first-quarter lead into a 34-28 halftime edge.
Olentangy outscored BW 13-12 in the third quarter before the teams each scored 15 in the fourth to smooth out the scoring summary.
Jason Sieve and Austin Luxedor both had nine points in the win.
The Eagles, meanwhile, were boosted by Austin Becker, Henry von Hollen and Alex Kelso, who finished with 12 points apiece.
Buckeye Valley 66, North Union 57
The Barons saved their best for last, outscoring the visiting Wildcats 21-11 in the fourth quarter to flip a third-quarter deficit into a solid MOAC win Friday in Delaware.
Nick Hyatt led the way with a game-high 21 points. Jesse Tomlinson was also solid, scoring 18 points in the win, while Mitch Rotondo finished with nine points and 10 rebounds.
Worthington Kilbourne 40, Hayes 38
The Pacers used a 14-4 third quarter to take a 34-27 lead into the fourth, but the host Wolves finished the game on a 13-4 run to steal an OCC-Capital Division win Friday in Worthington.
“Until we get our ancillary guys to develop a shared belief that they are prepared to play with poise and do their jobs down the stretch, we will continue to struggle in close games,” Hayes coach Jordan Blackburn said. “Belief comes from playing a ton of competitive basketball against quality opponents, and knowing you paid the price. The issue of why we lost tonight was simple: poise and self-belief.”
The Pacers shot 48 percent from the field, but turned the ball over five times in the fourth quarter, three of which were unforced. They also shot just three free throws compared to the Wolves’ 13.
Will Yoakum finished with a team-best 15 points for Hayes (5-9, 2-6 OCC) while Zach McIntire finished with 11.
Matthew Gierhart led the Wolves (8-5, 6-2 OCC), who beat Hayes by a bucket for the second time this week, with 15 points.
Liberty 56, Central Crossing 32
The Patriots outscored the host Comets 26-7 in the first quarter and never looked back, cruising to a lopsided league win Friday night.
Four players finished in double figures for Liberty (8-6, 4-4 OCC) — Ben Roderick hit four three-pointers on the way to a 14-point effort, Spencer Mitchell and Drew Rosi added 12 points apiece and Brendon White finished with 11 in the win.
Follow Ben Stroup on Twitter @delgazette_ben.