Big Walnut’s Graham Federer drilled a deep triple with 3.2 seconds left to send the game to overtime, but visiting Delaware Hayes coupled steady free throw shooting and timely defense down the stretch to escape with a thrilling 55-50 win to open OCC-Capital Division play Friday night in Sunbury.
The Pacers, who picked up their fourth straight road win to start the season, led most of the fourth quarter. Instead of getting deflated by the Federer’s heroics, though, they played harder in the OT.
Hayes bounced back from the game-tying triple on the first possession of the extra session, getting a three from Jake Lowman, who finished with a team-best 17 points, to take a lead they never relinquished.
The Golden Eagles’ Trent Minor scored inside a few possessions later to slice the deficit to a hoop, and Hayes missed a pair of free throws at the other end before the Pacers stepped up in a big way on the defensive end. Jesse Burris, who had 16 points in the win, poked the ball away for a steal before being fouled with 1:12 left. He calmly made both of the ensuing free throws to bump his team’s edge to 50-46.
BW got a driving layin from Conor Watters to again make it a one-possession game, but, after a Hayes free throw at the other end, the Pacers sealed the deal on defense. Up just three, Hezekiah Russell came up with a clutch block before Carter Piatt-Brown stole the ensuing outlet pass. Piatt-Brown, who was fouled, made both tosses from the charity stripe before another stop and two more free throws from Lowman all but sealed the deal with 4.6 seconds left.
Hayes led 10-9 after a back-and-fourth first quarter and, despite making just three shots in the second quarter — threes from Burris, Piatt-Brown and Russell — led 19-15 at halftime.
Big Walnut took control in the third as Tommy Campana’s corner three made it a 30-26 game after three, setting up the late-game fireworks.
Buckeye Valley 67, Mifflin 57
The Barons pulled away in the middle two quarters, outscoring the host Punchers 19-12 in the second and 20-15 in the third en route to a non-league win Friday night in Columbus.
Zane Melvin had the hot hand for BV, finishing with a team-best 21 points on 7-for-11 shooting with four three-pointers. Brendan Stalf added 15 points while Noah Huss and Dane Fisher chipped in 13 apiece.
Olentangy Berlin 62, Olentangy 57
The Bears started fast and held on late on the way to a hard-fought league-opening win over the host Braves Friday night in Lewis Center.
Berlin led 20-12 after the first quarter and, thanks to a 14-8 third, took a 49-35 lead into the fourth. Olentangy battled back from there, winning the fourth 22-13, but couldn’t complete the comeback.
Jason Inbody led the charge with 20 points while Derek Goodman had 15 for the Bears. The Braves were boosted by Jack Huskey’s 21-point night.
Also: Olentangy Liberty 44, Dublin Coffman 37.
Big Walnut led 27-6 after the first quarter and cruised from there, opening league play with a dominant 81-35 OCC win over host Hayes Friday night in Delaware.
Nine different Golden Eagles scored, including Denza Allen and Megan Weakley, who had 17 points apiece. Abbey Coleman also finished in double figures, closing with 12 points in the win.
The Pacers, meanwhile, only had four players crack the scoring column. Samantha Toney had a team-best 12 points, Hailie Dowell added 11 and Adrionna Brown finished with 10.
Worthington Christian 30, Buckeye Valley 18
The Barons dug themselves an early 10-point hole and couldn’t quite climb out as the host Warriors notched an MSL-Ohio win Friday night.
Molly Meier led BV with six points while Ella Hazelrigg finished with four in the setback.
Olentangy 41, Olentangy Berlin 30
The Braves set the tone with a 15-6 first quarter and never looked back en route to an OCC-Cardinal Division win over the host Bears Friday night in Delaware.
Olentangy’s Whitney Stafford led all scorers with 18 points while Abbie Bell had a team-high nine for Berlin.