Patriots power past Cruisers in sectional final


The 17th-seeded Olentangy Liberty boys basketball team started strong and only added to its lead as the game wore on en route to a 73-53 Division I sectional final win over visiting and 34th-seeded Groveport-Madison Friday night in Powell.

Tyler Kropp poured in six of his game-best 19 points in the first quarter as the Patriots (14-9) jumped out to an early 17-12 lead after eight minutes of action.

Kropp was one of three Liberty players with at least 17 points. Parker Van Engelenhoven had 18, including six in the second quarter, and Christian Moulton had 17 thanks in part to a trio of three-pointers.

The Patriots, already up 32-23 at halftime, used a big 20-11 third quarter to all but seal the deal. Six different players scored during the frame.

Jeremiah Moore led the Cruisers (8-14) with 11 points in the setback.

Next up, Liberty will take on fifth-seeded Hilliard Bradley in Wednesday’s district semifinal. Tip is slated for 7 p.m. at a site to be determined. The Patriots played the Jaguars twice in the regular season, falling 55-38 in the first matchup and 58-55 in the second.

Delaware Hayes 71, Hilliard Darby 44

The second-seeded Pacers led by a bucket after a competitive first quarter, but pulled away after that en route to a dominant Division I sectional final win over the visiting and 44th-seeded Panthers Friday night in Delaware.

Hayes (23-1) outscored Darby 25-7 in the second quarter to break things open before a 21-15 third and 12-11 fourth smoothed out the scoring summary.

Jake Lowman drained four three-pointers on the way to a game-best 17 points. Landon Vanderwarker added 12, Carter Piatt-Brown chipped in eight and Jeremiah Russell and Garrett Brown finished with seven points apiece in the win.

Ty Maul had a team-best 14 points for the Panthers (4-19).

With the win, Hayes will play 16th-seeded Westerville South — the only team to beat it all season long — in Wednesday’s district semifinal at a site to be determined. Tip is slated for 7 p.m.

Olentangy Berlin 73, Pickerington Central 70, OT

Derek Goodman hit a three-pointer to open overtime and Colton Less split a pair of free throws to put his team up three with 12.5 seconds left as the 27th-seeded Bears (14-10) edged the host and 15th-seeded Tigers in Friday’s Division I sectional final in Pickerington.

Berlin (14-10), which led 21-16 after the first quarter, never trailed. Central (14-9) got a point back in the second, but the Bears used a 17-10 third to take a 54-43 lead into the final eight minutes of action.

The defending state runner-up Tigers used a 20-9 fourth to send the game into OT, but the Bears responded in the extra session.

Goodman led the way with 24 points while Noah Gamble had 22.

Next up, Berlin will take on sixth-seeded Westerville North in Wednesday’s district semifinal. Tip is slated for 7 p.m. at a site to be determined.

Also: Olentangy Orange 71, Columbus Independence 26.

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