One of the best seasons the Delaware Hayes girls basketball team has ever had came to a close over the weekend as top-seeded Reynoldsburg pulled away for a 61-38 win in the second of four Division I district championships played Saturday afternoon at Ohio Dominican University’s Alumni Hall.
For the Pacers, who were looking for their first district title since 1988, everything was new. For the top-seeded Raiders, who’ve now won four straight district titles and claimed a crown 11 of the last 13 years, it was business as usual … and it showed early.
Reynoldsburg stormed out to a 13-4 lead midway through the first quarter. Mya Perry, who hit six three-pointers on the way to an 18-point effort, buried her first on the first shot of the game. She hit another three shortly after and, after Hayes’ Porter Barickman beat the Raiders’ full-court press for an easy layin, Trinity Ramos hit a three and Imarianah Russell finished off an and-one opportunity to account for the early nine-point edge.
Hayes’ Chloe Jeffers — the Pacers’ leading scorer, senior co-captain and Butler commit — got into the action with a three-pointer to give her team some momentum, but it never stayed on the Hayes sideline long enough to make much of a dent in the deficit.
Perry hit another three on the ensuing trip down the floor, set up an easy hoop for a teammate, then drilled yet another triple, her fourth of the first quarter to make it a 22-9 game heading into the second quarter.
Hayes had a chance to slice into the lead with Perry on the bench for the first three minutes of the second. Jeffers and Sophia Midura each hit jumpers in the first minute of the quarter, but Russell hit a couple free throws before Perry reentered with her team up 30-15 with five minutes to play until halftime.
Midura and Sara Dudley each scored just before halftime, but the Pacers still trailed 32-19 at the break.
The Raiders only added to their edge from there, outscoring Hayes 12-7 in the third quarter and 17-12 in the fourth to smooth out the scoring summary.
Midura and Perry traded threes to start the second half, and the Pacers were down 13 when Taylor Shumaker connected on a jumper from the baseline, but that’s as close as things got. Russell scored back-to-back buckets to open the fourth before Perry hit her final three to balloon the lead to 51-26 with 5:52 left in regulation.
Midura and Jeffers finished with 12 points apiece. Jeffers added five rebounds and three assists while Samantha Toney had a team-best seven rebounds in the setback.
Russell finished with a game-best 19 points, eight rebounds and four steals while Perry’s six threes were her main contribution. Samara Savoy also stuffed the stat sheet for the Raiders, collecting 14 points to go with nine rebounds and three steals.
Next up, Reynoldsburg will take on Gahanna, a 46-43 winner over Newark in its district final, in Tuesday’s regional semifinal at Westerville South.