The Olentangy Liberty girls basketball team opened the game on a 20-0 run and never looked back, lifting the lid on league play with a lopsided 52-26 win over host Olentangy Orange Tuesday night in Lewis Center.
Gigi Bower set the tone with a three-pointer on the first shot of the game. Claire Mikola, who finished with a game-high 14 points in the win, then scored off a steal before Addison Marston split a pair of free throws to make it a 6-0 game before the fans were even settled into their seats.
Liberty’s defense continued to dominate as a block by Ryan Chapman set up another fast break — a transition opportunity Maria Stack converted off a nice feed from Mikola to increase the early edge to 12-0 with 1:54 left in the opening quarter.
Marston beat the first-quarter buzzer with a three to make it 17-0 after one before Bower hit a triple to open the second.
Orange finally got on the board with a hoop by Quinn Pifher, and free throws from Emma Delmore got the Pioneers within 15 at 25-9, but Liberty answered with a driving layin from Mikola to regain control.
Orange, which trailed 30-9 at halftime, took much better care of the ball in the second half, and got more good looks at the bucket because of it, but couldn’t slice into the deficit.
Jordan Sullivan scored all six Pioneer points in the third quarter, but they still trailed 43-15 heading into the fourth as the Patriots closed the third on a 9-0 run thanks in part to a triple by Marston and transition hoops from Chapman and Mikola.
Buckeye Valley 45, CSG 35
The Barons started fast, outscoring the visiting Unicorns 11-6 in the first quarter and 15-7 in the second on the way to a solid win Tuesday night in Columbus.
Molly Meier and Carlie Osborne led the charge with 12 points apiece while Ella Hazelrigg added 11 points in the win.
Sammy Morris poured in a game-best 13 points for CSG.
Delaware Hayes 47, Franklin Heights 40
Adrionna Brown had a game-best 18 points, 14 of which came in the second half as the Pacers flipped a halftime deficit into a win in their league opener Tuesday night against the visiting Falcons.
Maddie Kiss and Samantha Toney backed Brown with 11 points apiece.
Olentangy Berlin 63, Thomas Worthington 59
The Bears used a 25-point third quarter to take control on the way to a solid win over the host Cardinals in Tuesday’s league opener.
Down 28-25 at halftime, Berlin led 50-42 after the big third before holding on late.
Layla Merriweather and Cami Elliott led the Bears with 14 points apiece while Chaneya Garner had a game-high 21 for the Cardinals.
Brendan Stalf had a double-double, pouring in a game-high 18 points to go with 12 rebounds, and Zane Melvin coupled 11 points with seven assists to lead Buckeye Valley to a 54-33 MSL-Ohio win over visiting Wellington Tuesday night in Delaware.
The Barons set the tone with a 23-7 first quarter and, after getting outscored in the second, won the third and fourth to pull away late.
Olentangy Berlin 69, River Valley 59
The two teams played pretty evenly throughout the final three quarters, but a strong 26-15 first proved to be the difference as the Bears beat the visiting Vikings in non-league action Tuesday night in Delaware.
Noah Gamble and Derek Goodman led Berlin with 20 and 18 points, respectively.
Delaware Hayes 62, Marion Harding 46
The Pacers continued their hot start to the season Tuesday night in Marion, dropping the host Presidents behind Jesse Burris’ game-high 22 points.
Hayes, up just three after the first quarter, blew things open with a 22-14 second.
Jake Lowman and Carter Piatt-Brown backed Burris with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Also: Olentangy Orange 68, Saint Charles 46.