They say it’s not how you start, but how you finish that matters most.
For the Olentangy girls basketball team, though, the start — to the season and to Friday’s game against Olentangy Berlin — made all the difference as it parlayed a dominant 31-11 halftime lead into a 65-25 OCC-Cardinal Division win to improve to 5-0 overall and 2-0 in league play.
Sydney Mobley set the tone, scoring 12 of her team’s first 14 points as the Braves raced out to a 19-3 lead by the end of the first quarter.
A Mobley steal at one end led to a basket at the other as the freshman broke the scoring seal with a layin before cleaning up a miss and scoring a put-back bucket to make it a 4-0 game.
Ava Fate got the Bears (4-1, 1-1) on the board with an inside hoop after the Braves’ Whitney Stafford scored off an offensive rebound, making it a 6-2 game midway through the first, but back-to-back-to-back hoops from Mobley ballooned the lead to double digits.
Olentangy got it done on both ends of the floor to add to its edge. After Camden Spitzer forced a five-second call with some solid defense, Stafford hit a three-pointer on the Braves’ ensuing trip down the floor to make it a 17-3 game before Mobley, who had 14 points and five rebounds in the first quarter alone, scored in the final seconds.
Berlin got off to a better start in the second — Cami Elliott split a pair of free throws and Addi Hoops hit a jumper — but Olentangy’s Alex Mobley drained a corner three to open up a 24-6 lead with 2:58 left in the half.
The Bears’ Layla Merriweather got going a bit after that, hitting a three-pointer late in the half, but Stafford found Chayla Rankin for an inside hoop before hitting a pair of free throws in the final seconds to make it a 31-11 game at the break.
Olentangy built its lead to 52-20 by the end of the third quarter thanks in part to Rankin, who had four points and three steals in the first three minutes of the period.
The Braves got nine quick points from Katie Heyd to swell the spread to 61-22 midway through the fourth.
Big Walnut 72, Delaware Hayes 45
The Golden Eagles outscored the visiting Pacers 19-3 in the second quarter and 23-13 in the third to turn a close game after a quarter into a lopsided OCC-Capital Division win Friday night in Sunbury.
Lexi Federer led a balanced Big Walnut attack with 17 points. Denza Allen and Maddy Stumpf had 14 apiece while Remy Largent finished with 12 points in the win.
Adrionna Brown was the only Pacer to finish in double figures, closing with 16 points in the setback.
Olentangy Liberty 58, Dublin Coffman 52
The Patriots picked up a key early-season win Friday in Powell, using a strong first half to take a lead they never relinquished.
Liberty outscored Coffman 16-8 in the first quarter and 18-9 in the second to take a 34-17 halftime edge.
The Shamrocks finished with a flourish, but couldn’t complete the comeback.
Gigi Bower led the charge, finishing with 17 points in the win. Maria Stack was also solid, closing with 15, while Claire Mikola had 13 points.
Also: Hilliard Davidson 40, Olentangy Orange 39, OT
Buckeye Valley jumped out to a 21-4 halftime lead and never looked back, coupling a suffocating defensive effort with more than enough offense to notch a 42-18 non-league win over CSG Saturday night in Columbus.
The Barons caused a season-best 26 turnovers, including 20 steals — eight of which Lina Wagner had a hand in.
Emily Huston led the attack with 10 points while Carlie Osborne did a little of everything, collecting seven points, five rebounds, five steals and four assists.
Hazely Wagner, meanwhile, had a game-best nine rebounds in the win.
Elgin 58, Delaware Christian 26
The Eagles suffered from a slow start and foul trouble Saturday night in Elgin as the host Comets rolled to a non-league win.
Addy Beard led DCS with 11 points and three rebounds. Brooke Huffman had 10 points and three boards of her own in the setback.