Junior Drew Clement acted as a catalyst for the Olentangy boys soccer team – dishing out three assists in the first 10 minutes of Wednesday night’s 5-0 win over visiting Big Walnut in the first round of the Division I district tournament in Lewis Center.
Clement wove through the defense before touching to Alec Heidl, who scored to give Olentangy a 1-0 lead a little over five minutes into the game.
“(Clement) has been a primary part of the majority of our goals this year,” Olentangy coach Kyle Hamrick said. “He had seven goals and six assists (coming in). We’ve played eight of the top 10 teams in the area – at least by the seeding. So, to come out of that with only a (few) losses … that’s in large part to Drew and his ability to control the ball and dictate the play for us.”
“It felt good to score for the boys to put our team up and lift our spirits,” Heidl said.
Then, Clement led Matt Celona through the defense, giving Celona a wide-open shot to give Olentangy a 2-0 edge with 30:30 left in the half.
Heidl scored his second goal just under five minutes into the second half, when Clement found daylight on the right side. His centering pass pinballed in front before Heidl one-timed it in to extend the lead to 3-0.
“(Heidl’s) biggest asset for us this year has been his positive attitude,” Hamrick said. “He’s a very easy player to coach because anything we ask him to do – he goes out and does it extremely well.”
Marc Gill and Joshua Gernert each added goals with Celona and Mateo Montoya with the respective assists.
Grant Robinson stopped eight shots in goal for Olentangy (11-4-2), including five in the first half.
It’s been a Jekyll and Hyde kind of season for Olentangy, which started the season 9-0-2 before dropping four straight games.
“There was definitely some luck to what happened (in those first 11 games),” Hamrick said. “There’s persistence, there’s perseverance in all of that – but, there’s definitely some luck. From a standpoint of what team are we? We can play with anybody. I wholeheartedly believe that.”
Ryan Kline finished with four saves for the 43rd-seeded Golden Eagles (3-13-1).
“Kline was great … he’s been like that for us all year,” BW coach Adam Gatton said. “He’s been saving our tail a thousand times. How many times can he do it? We were right in it – we had a lot of opportunities we didn’t finish (on offense).”
The Eagles hadn’t lost in their three previous games, going 2-0-1 over that stretch. It was a nice turnaround after starting the season 0-10.
“We saw major improvement over the course of the season,” Gatton said. “I’m proud of the guys – they fought hard.”
Next up, Olentangy advances to the second round and will host 48th-seeded Marion Harding Saturday night at 7 p.m.
Delaware Hayes 3, Columbus Whetstone 0
Kyle Klumpp scored the only goal of the first half and Briggy Kannally added two quick ones in the second half to lead the Pacers to a Division I district tournament win over the visiting Braves Wednesday in Delaware.
Davidaka McCamon had four saves en route to collecting the shutout for 23rd-seeded Hayes.
Next up, the Pacers will take on top-seeded Olentangy Liberty in Saturday’s second round. First kick is set for 7 p.m. in Powell.
Also: Fairbanks 3, Delaware Christian 0
The second-seeded Big Walnut volleyball team picked up a lopsided win in its tourney opener, sweeping away visiting and 15th-seeded Columbus East in a Division II district tournament second-round game Wednesday in Sunbury.
The Golden Eagles used a balanced attack to roll to the 25-5, 25-7, 25-9 win. Three players — Kassie Bowmar, Kaley Rammelsberg and Olivia Pollock — had four kills apiece. Mac Podraza, who was one of three Eagles with three kills, finished with a team-best seven aces.
The win sets up next Thursday’s district semifinal against either Columbus School for Girls or London at Licking Heights.
Olentangy Liberty 3, Canal Winchester 0
Grace Clark had a team-best 11 kills and Logan Flaugh finished with 27 assists and 17 digs to lead the top-seeded Patriots to a straight-set win over the visiting and 33rd-seeded Indians in Wednesday’s Division I district tournament game in Powell.
Liberty won the first set 25-11 before taking care of business in the second and third by respective scores of 25-14 and 25-6.
The Patriots will play either Hilliard Bradley or Central Crossing in Tuesday’s district semifinal at Franklin Heights.
Also: Olentangy 3, Lancaster 1