DELAWARE – The Delaware Hayes boys basketball team shot 69 percent from the field and turned it over just twice.
Most nights – that would be a blowout.
But visiting Thomas Worthington shot lights out too, knocking down 15 3-pointers. But a bid at a 16th 3-pointer by Charlie Mamlin hit the back of the rim at the buzzer and the Pacers held on for a 76-73 win in OCC-Cardinal action Monday night.
It was a far cry from Hayes’ 37-20 win over Thomas late last year. The teams weren’t far from matching that scoring output in the fourth quarter alone.
Senior Jwan Lyles gave the Pacers the lead, catching a Nate Griggs pass on a cut for a layup with 59 seconds left.
“(Lyles) – physically – has always been able to do it,” Blackburn said. “He is starting to play like he knows he can do it. He looks completely different than he used to look. He used to be afraid to make a mistake.”
It was a great contrast from a year ago. In a similar situation, the Pacers (4-0, 3-0) would have relied on top-scorers Griggs or Terin Kinsway down the stretch.
Now, they’re much more balanced. Griggs paced Hayes with 24 points, Paul Burris added 15 and Lyles and Kinsway chipped in 13 apiece in the win.
Lyles scored all of his points in the second half after Burris went off for three 3-pointers in the second quarter and scored 13 points to lead Hayes back from a 10-point deficit in the first quarter.
“The first half – I was rushing my shot a little bit,” Lyles said. “The second half – I just took my time. I worked a lot over the summer on my jump shot.”
Burris buried two threes in an 8-0 run to close the half, giving Hayes a 37-32 lead. Addison Harvey put the Pacers up with a layup on a Griggs feed with 1:09 left.
Hayes wouldn’t trail again until late in the fourth – pushing its lead as high as 12 in the second half.
Thomas went on a 12-0 run in the fourth to retake the lead – with six of those points coming on one possession.
“I thought we made plays that – two games ago – we probably wouldn’t have made,” Thomas coach Sean Luzader said. “Our sophomores – and a couple of other guys – they made big plays. Obviously, they hit threes. Both teams shot the ball really well.”
Lyles was called for a foul battling for position underneath on a Jalen Sullinger 3-pointer. Sullinger, a sophomore, added a second triple to cut it to one at 68-67. Sullinger knocked down the go-ahead three on Thomas’ next possession to put the Cardinals up 70-68 with 2:08 left.
Lyles responded with a three from the left corner off a Harvey feed to give the Pacers the lead right back with 1:56 left.
Isaac Settles gave Thomas the lead back with another 3-pointer.
Griggs knocked down a free throw and the Pacers got the ball back on a Ben Wight offensive foul to set up Lyles’ go-ahead score.
Sullinger had a game-high 35 points to lead the Cardinals (3-2, 1-2) on the strength of nine threes, including four in the final period. Settles, a sophomore, added 24 points – knocking down six triples, including three in the fourth.
Next up, Hayes continues league play Friday at home against Worthington Kilbourne in its last game before heading to Orlando for three games to close out 2018. Friday’s game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Delaware Christian used a big third quarter to build a cushion, outscoring visiting Horizon Science Academy 15-3 on the way to a 49-31 non-league win Monday in Delaware.
The Eagles went into a press to start the third … and it worked. They forced 16 turnovers, which led to easy baskets at the other end and a 16-point lead by quarter’s end.
DCS’ Lyssi Snouffer led all scorers with 28 points to go with 12 rebounds and three blocks. Abbi Maurer led with seven assists and four steals, also adding seven points and 10 boards to her stat line, and Hannah Maurer added eight rebounds and four points.
Thomas Worthington 54, Delaware Hayes 46
The Pacers held the Cardinals scoreless in the third quarter, outscoring them 11-0, but it wasn’t enough to make up for a slow start Monday night at Thomas Worthington.
The hosts outscored Hayes 19-9 in the first quarter and 16-13 in the second to build a 14-point lead by halftime. Thomas won the fourth 19-13 to smooth out the scoring summary.
Alexis Amabile led the Pacers with 15 points while Jordan Lantz added 11 in the setback.
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichnotwealthy or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.