Hot start sends Braves past Vikings


LEWIS CENTER – Meg Spohn sparked a 10-0 run to close the first half with two points, two steals and two assists to lead the host Olentangy girls basketball team to a 35-19 lead at the break.

Olentangy then held off a third-quarter rally to beat River Valley 53-43 in non-league play Tuesday night.

Spohn found Isabella Walters for a three-pointer to start the second-quarter rally. She turned her own steal into a layup on the next possession.

Spohn added a second pick-pocket on the next possession and fed Bailey Cummings for a three to push the lead to 14.

“Meg is so fast and so explosive,” Olentangy coach Kate Cummings said. “She’s long and can get her hand on the ball. It gave us better scoring opportunities because they were scrambling. Your offense is created by those defensive turnovers.”

Kennedie Doup finished off the run with a layup off a Dani Beidelman feed with 13 seconds left to give Olentangy its halftime edge.

Spohn finished with 12 points, four rebounds, four assists and four steals to lead Olentangy.

“We’ve really been focusing on our team movement and our defense as a whole and how it leads to our offense,” Spohn said. “We’ve really been working hard in practice. If you give your all in practice – you’re going to play that way in a game. I was just giving my all for my team and trying to motivate them as well.”

Spohn scored back-to-back baskets as Olentangy started 6-0 against the Vikings, who scored eight of the next 10 points and tied the game with a Madi Lott three-pointer with 1:29 left in the opening quarter.

Spohn responded with a three of her own two possessions later and Bridget Stafford closed the quarter with a three to give Olentangy a 14-8 lead.

Stafford hit her second three early in the second quarter to help Olentangy push the lead up to 10 before RV rallied back, setting up Spohn’s big sequence.

“They just played more physical than us and we weren’t ready to play,” RV coach Tim Chiles said. “I give them credit – they had a tough loss early against a really good team, but bounced back. We weren’t able to handle their (physicality) early.”

Alexis Stevens, who was honorable mention All-Ohio in 2017, scored seven of her nine points in the third quarter as RV pulled as close as 43-38 by the end of the frame.

“We competed in the second half,” Chiles said. “Obviously, I’m not happy with the outcome and all that. But we’ll take the effort from the second half and learn from this.”

Stevens finished with nine points, 12 rebounds and five steals for the Vikings.

“She’s a really good basketball player – defensively and offensively,” Chiles said. “She makes things happen for us. When she sits down and defends and gets the ball on offense, finds the rim and attacks – good things are going to happen.”

But Olentangy’s defense stood tall and held the Vikings scoreless for the first six minutes, 44 seconds of the frame.

Doup buried a three to push the lead as high as 15, but Olivia Kyrk broke the RV drought with a three of her own the following possession.

Doup finished with 10 points and eight rebounds, Reagan Robison had 10 boards and Karman Long had six points, four rebounds and four steals for Olentangy.

“We take the perspective that every time you play is an opportunity to learn,” Cummings said. “It’s never a wasted day if you take something from it and apply it to a new day. I felt like last year, we were playing really well at the end of the season and that’s our goal this year.”

Johnson and Taylor Hecker scored 10 points apiece to lead RV. Johnson had five rebounds and Hecker added four boards and four assists for the Vikings (1-1).

Olentangy continues non-league play at home against Delaware Hayes Tuesday night, which is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.

Buckeye Valley 81, Wellington 12

Dani Grether had a double-double, pouring in 30 points to go with 16 rebounds, and Chelsea Edington set a school record for three-pointers with seven as the Barons rolled to a lopsided win over host Wellington Tuesday night.

Buckeye Valley (1-0) didn’t allow more than four points in any one quarter, outscoring Wellington 24-3 in the first, 17-2 in the second, 23-4 in the third and 17-3 in the fourth.

Edington finished with 23 points, 21 coming from behind the arc. Anika Craft and Paige Garrett were also solid. Craft had 12 points while Garrett finished with 10.

Big Walnut 58, Mount Vernon 20

The Golden Eagles (1-0) jumped out to a 20-2 lead after the first quarter and never looked back on the way to a non-league win over the host Yellow Jackets Tuesday night in Mount Vernon.

Abby Facemyer led the way with 14 points while Avery Schone and Payton Carter had 12 and eight, respectively.

Stella Bainbridge led Mount Vernon with eight points in the setback.

Delaware Christian 47, Fairbanks 33

The Eagles trailed 22-16 at halftime, but used a dominant second-half effort to roll past the visiting Panthers in Tuesday’s home opener in Delaware.

DCS (2-0) outscored Fairbanks (0-2) 17-7 in the third and 14-4 in the fourth to seal the deal.

Lyssi Snouffer was a steal away from a triple-double, collecting 30 points, 10 rebounds and nine steals in the win. Katie Neuhart was also solid for the Eagles, finishing with eight points, 10 boards and four steals.

Hilliard Bradley 50, Olentangy Liberty 41

The host Jaguars limited the Patriots to just 11 first-half points on the way to a non-league win Tuesday in Hilliard.

Carly Callahan sparked Bradley with 22 points while Chloe Callahan had 18. The duo combined for seven three-pointers.

Trinity Ramos finished with a team-best 12 points while Kelly Levering had 11 on the strength of three triples for Liberty.

Olentangy’s Meg Spohn (3) drives toward the hoop during the first half of Tuesday’s non-league showdown against visiting River Valley.’s Meg Spohn (3) drives toward the hoop during the first half of Tuesday’s non-league showdown against visiting River Valley. Ben Stroup | Gazette
Buckeye Valley, Big Walnut post convincing season-opening wins

By Michael Rich

For the Gazette

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