Pacers ride depth to dominant tourney-opening win


The Delaware Hayes boys basketball team didn’t put together a 21-win regular season and secure its first OCC championship in 10 years by accident.

The Pacers did it as a team.

Depth got them the second seed in the district tournament, too, and that depth was on full display in Tuesday’s postseason opener against visiting and 48th-seeded Logan — a game they won 76-37 to advance to Friday’s second-round showdown against visiting and 44th-seeded Hilliard Darby.

Hayes (22-1) jumped out to a 30-8 lead by the end of the first quarter. Jesse Burris scored all 10 of his points in the first while Chase Griggs and Drew Banaszak hit three-pointers to help the Pacers take control.

They used a 22-9 second to all but seal the deal by the break before outscoring the Chieftains 24-20 in the second half to smooth out the scoring summary.

Fifteen different players scored for Hayes. Banaszak poured in a game-best 13 points to join Burris in double figures. Will Sims and Carter Piatt-Brown had nine points apiece, Landon Vanderwarker had eighth and Jake Lowman and Jeremiah Russell closed with four each.

Logan (2-21), meanwhile, never really got going against an organized Hayes defense. Kris Morgan had a team-high eight points for the Chieftains while Jackson Stimmel had seven in the setback.

The tip time for Friday’s game against Darby is 7 p.m.

Licking Valley 60, Buckeye Valley 59, OT

The 13th-seeded Barons dug out of an early hole with a huge third quarter, but couldn’t complete the comeback as the 12th-seeded and host Panthers escaped with a Division II sectional semifinal win in overtime Tuesday night in Newark.

BV (12-11), which trailed 15-7 after the first quarter and 27-17 at the break, outscored Licking Valley (13-10) 24-9 in the third quarter to jump on top.

The Panthers won the fourth 20-15 to get back to even, though, then outscored the Barons 4-3 in the extra session to seal the deal.

Logan Kroeger led BV with 16 points on the strength of four three-pointers. Zane Melvin finished with 12 points and Marcus Hemphill had 11 in the setback.

Olentangy Berlin 45, Watkins Memorial 42

The 27th-seeded Bears got their postseason off to a strong start, knocking off 23rd-seeded Watkins Memorial on the road Tuesday night in Pataskala.

Watkins Memorial (14-10) led 12-6 after the first quarter, but Berlin (13-10) used a 14-6 second to take a two-point lead into halftime.

The Bears extended the lead with a 16-13 third before holding off the Warriors down the stretch.

Derek Goodman led the way with 18 points while Noah Gamble had 13 in the win.

Next up, Berlin will play 15th-seeded Pickerington Central Friday in Pickerington. Tip is set for 7 p.m.

Also: Olentangy Orange 79, Columbus Whetstone 17; Marion Harding 64 Olentangy 45.

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