Patriots pull away from Braves


Sophomore Nick Nakasian and Ben Roderick led the Olentangy Liberty boys basketball team during an 18-2 run in the third quarter that gave the Patriots control.

Liberty put up 54 points in the second half to cruise to an 83-67 victory over rival Olentangy in OCC-Buckeye Division action Friday night in Powell.

“I want to play these games every Friday night,” Patriots coach Greg Nossaman said. “These are the games that you live to coach for.”

Roderick scored 13 of his game-high 24 points in the third quarter and Nakasian had eight of his 12 points in the same frame as Liberty (10-4, 3-2) outscored Olentangy 28-13 to overcome a 34-29 deficit at the break.

“(Coach Nossaman) just told me to relax and shots would fall,” Roderick said. “The first they got us … we let them dictate how we would play. The second half, we really guarded them and made them drive.”

Nakasian finished with game-highs in rebounds (eight) and assists (six) and Roderick pulled down seven boards as Liberty outrebounded Olentangy 42-26.

Mitchell Kershner had 15 points, six rebounds and three steals and Llywatt Hofer added 11 points and six rebounds off the bench for the Patriots.

Greg Hendrix hit four three-pointers and scored 12 points in the second quarter to help Olentangy overcome a 10-point deficit at the end of the first. Hendrix led Olentangy with 19 points.

“They’re a tough team to guard,” Nossaman said. “They shoot it quick … we worked all week at defending them at the three and running them off the line, and they drive and then you have to be in good position. They’re a team that’s never out of it and you’re never out of it by the way they play.”

Olentangy led 40-33 early in the third when a Kirshner basket and a Roderick three-pointer cut it two.

After a Jason Sieve basket, Nakasian scored Liberty’s next eight points before another Roderick three-pointer and a Mitchell Okuley bucket pushed it to 51-42.

“We defended a lot better (in the second half) and then we got it going offensively,” Nossaman said. “Ben got it going … Kershner and Nakasian were strong going for loose balls and second-chance points.”

Sieve finished with 18 points and three rebounds, Sean Marks had 12 points and four assists and Will Elmore added 10 points and a team-high seven rebounds for Olentangy (6-7, 1-4).

Liberty is right back at it when it hosts Lexington in non-league action tonight at 5 p.m. Olentangy returns to action Tuesday night when it hosts Hilliard Davidson in non-league action at 7:30 p.m.

Liberty’s Ben Roderick lofts a floater over a pair of Olentangy defenders during the first half of Friday’s OCC-Buckeye Division showdown in Powell.’s Ben Roderick lofts a floater over a pair of Olentangy defenders during the first half of Friday’s OCC-Buckeye Division showdown in Powell.

By Michael Rich

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Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichdelgazette.

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