Area teams eye conference crowns


Six Delaware County basketball teams — four girls’ squads and a couple on the boys’ side — entered Tuesday’s action alone or tied atop their respective conferences.

Absolutely none of that changed after the games wrapped up, either, as all six won.

The Big Walnut girls and Delaware Hayes boys passed the biggest tests, beating teams they were tied with to take full control of their respective races toward conference crowns as the season heads into the home stretch.

The Golden Eagles (15-2, 9-1) had to get it done on the road, outlasting host Westerville South (10-5, 8-2), 48-44.

Remy Largent and Denza Allen led the charge with 19 and 16 points, respectively.

Big Walnut, which trailed 22-18 at halftime, won the third quarter 17-8 to take control … of the game and the OCC-Capital Division, which they lead by a game with four to go.

Hayes’ boys, meanwhile, knocked off visiting Westerville North for the second time this season, winning the series finale, 72-66.

The Pacers (14-1, 8-1), who led 18-8 after a solid first quarter, got it done with a balanced attack on the offensive end.

Landon Vanderwarker, who had nine points in the first, finished with 18. Carter Piatt-Brown, thanks in part to four three-pointers, finished with 18, too, and Jesse Burris and Jake Lowman chipped in 17 and 12, respectively.

The win gives Hayes a one-game edge over Westerville South (9-4, 7-2) and North (12-3, 7-2) with five games left.

The Pacers, who lost to the Wildcats 73-65 the first time the two teams met this winter, will get the rematch at home Feb. 2.

It was business as usual for the other four as the Buckeye Valley, Olentangy and Liberty girls, and the Olentangy Orange boys, all stayed perfect in league play with convincing wins.

The Barons (13-2, 9-0) got a career-high 13 points from Molly Meier in a dominant 55-20 win over visiting Columbus School for Girls.

Buckeye Valley, which currently sits two games up on Bishop Ready (12-5, 8-2), led 20-8 after the first quarter and never looked back, using a 20-4 third to all but seal the deal.

The Patriots (13-4, 7-0), meanwhile, got a key 57-43 OCC-Central win over host Dublin Coffman and the Braves (16-1, 7-0) beat Olentangy Berlin 80-51 to stay undefeated in the OCC-Cardinal Division.

Claire Mikola had a game-best 23 points in the win over the Shamrocks — a game that saw Liberty jump out to a 28-19 halftime lead. Gigi Bower had 12 points in the win while Maria Stack and Emma Karagheuzoff had eight and seven, respectively.

The Patriots, up one game over Upper Arlington (14-2, 6-1) thanks to a 64-42 win in the first matchup a few days before Christmas, will host the Golden Bears Friday in Powell. Tip is set for 7:30 p.m.

Olentangy, after its second win of the season over rival Berlin, improved to 16-1 overall and 7-0 in the Cardinal Division, which it leads by two games over Marysville (13-3, 5-2) with just a handful left.

Olentangy Orange’s boys (15-0, 6-0), finally, currently one game up on Bradley (10-4, 5-1) in the OCC-Central, handled host Hilliard Davidson 49-37 to keep their perfect season alive.

The second game of the Pioneers’ season series with the Jaguars is set for Feb. 9 in Hilliard.

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