The Olentangy Berlin boys basketball team used a late run to get some separation, then hit all six of its free throws in the final minute to hold off visiting Delaware Hayes for a 52-45 non-league win Thursday night in Delaware.
After the Pacers’ Jesse Burris scored to cut the deficit to two early in the fourth quarter, the Bears reeled off the next seven points to create some breathing room.
Noah Gamble answered Burris’ hoop at the other end to get the run started and, after Mathios Abenet converted a three-point play the old-fashioned way, a driving layin from Derek Goodman bumped the Berlin (6-2) lead to nine, 40-31, forcing a Hayes (8-3) timeout with 5:27 left.
The quick break to talk things over worked well for the Pacers (8-3), who snapped the run with a three-point play from Chase Griggs out of the timeout. Goodman, who poured in a game-best 21 points, answered with a three-pointer before five straight points by Burris, who had a team-best 15, sliced his team’s deficit to 43-39 with 4:07 to play.
Burris scored inside to cut the gap to 46-43 with 2:38 left, then scored again after a Berlin turnover to make it 46-45 with 1:32 to play, but that’s as close as things got.
Forced to foul, Hayes sent Gamble to the line. The junior point guard hit both to balloon the lead to 48-45 with 44 seconds left and, after Hayes missed a potential game-tying three at the other end, two more Gamble free throws all but sealed the deal with 20.8 seconds left.
After another Hayes miss from three-point land, Goodman smoothed out the scoring summary with a couple free throws.
The game was tightly contested from the start, but the Bears, who scored the first six points of the game, led most of the way. They outscored the Pacers in three of the four quarters, including 19-16 in the back-and-fourth fourth.
Olentangy Liberty 62, Fayetteville (Arkansas) 58
The Patriots (10-1) started fast and held on late to pick up their 10th win in a row on the final day of the Innisfree Hotels Beach Basketball Tournament Thursday in Pensacola, Florida.
Matt Wilson hit two of his team’s four first-quarter triples as Liberty raced out to a 20-8 lead by the end of the first quarter.
The Patriots used a 14-11 second to add on before Fayetteville used a 26-15 fourth to make things interesting at the end.
Wilson finished with a game-best 16 points in the win while Jackson Mikola had 14.
Olentangy Orange 50, Newark 45
Elias Lewis, Nick Chapman, Devin Brown and Jordan Edwards all scored 11 points as the Pioneers (10-0) used a balanced attack to pick up their 10th straight win to start the season Thursday night in Newark.
Ethan Stare led the Wildcats with 17 points while Steele Meister and Grant Burkholder closed with 11 and 10, respectively.
Also: Dover 55, Olentangy 53 (4 OT).