The Olentangy boys basketball team closed the first half on a 9-0 run to claw back into things, making it a four-point game at the break, but host and state-ranked Olentangy Orange used a big run of its own in the third quarter to gain some separation on the way to a 69-44 non-league win Tuesday night in Lewis Center.
The two took turns controlling things in the first half.
The Pioneers (18-1) used the three-point line to jump ahead early before the Braves (10-8), looking for their fourth win over an intra-district opponent of the season, did the same to tighten things up considerably by halftime.
Dylan Joy, Treyton Schroeder and Levi Davis all hit threes in the first four minuets and, after Joy hit another from deep and Davis hit three free throws, Orange found itself on top 15-9 after eight minutes of action.
Joy and Schroeder hit back-to-back triples to balloon the lead to 21-11 by the 6:41 mark of the second but, after a driving lay-in from Ellis Appiah, Olentangy made its push.
Jackson Wiley hit a three to stop the bleeding and, after a hoop at the other end, the Braves embarked on their 9-0 push to make a game of things by halftime.
Ulysses Ponder hit a free throw, Ceasar Abouchahine scored inside off a nice find from Ponder and Carter Hire and Jay Agrawal hit back-to-back threes, the second making it a 29-25 game in the final seconds of the half.
It was still a four-point spread, 34-30 after Schroeder and Hire traded threes early in the third, but that’s when the Pioneers took control for good, using an 18-2 run to all but seal the deal by the end of the quarter.
Already up 13, Keegan Knupp scored inside, Davis stole the ensuing inbound pass, scored, was fouled and made the free throw to force an Olentangy timeout.
Devin Brown and Carson Cutler scored back-to-back buckets after that before Abouchahine hit a pair of free throws to make it a 52-36 game heading into the fourth — a quarter Orange won 17-8 to smooth out the scoring summary.
Delaware Hayes 57, Dublin Scioto 45
The Pacers took some time to get going, but used a big second half to rally for a key league win over the host Irish Tuesday in Dublin.
Down 37-24 at halftime, Hayes locked in defensively and made some adjustments against a Scioto zone defense that gave it more than a little trouble in the early going.
The changes made all the difference as the Pacers (17-1, 11-1) outscore Scioto (10-10, 4-8) 19-8 in the third and 14-0 in the fourth to seal the deal.
Landon Vanderwarker led the charge with 20 points, 13 in the second half, while Jesse Burris finished with 15 and the trio of Carter Piatt-Brown, Jake Lowman and Chase Griggs had six apiece.
Thanks to the win, Hayes has a one-game lead atop the OCC-Capital Division standings with two games left. It could secure at least a share of the title with a win Friday night at Canal Winchester.
Hamilton Township 61, Buckeye Valley 54
The Barons used a strong start, especially on the defensive end, to take a 23-15 lead into the second half, but the host Rangers scored 27 points in the third and 19 more in the fourth to rally for a non-league win Tuesday night.
Cam Richardson led BV (9-10) with 17 points while Dane Fisher finished with 11 and Marcus Hemphill chipped in 10 points and seven boards in the setback.
Also: Westerville North 55, Bg Walnut 48.