DELAWARE – The Delaware Hayes boys basketball was balanced and unselfish Friday night at Olentangy Berlin — a combination that led to a dominant league win.
Five players scored between nine and 14 points to lead the Pacers to a lopsided 57-29 win to close out OCC-Cardinal play.
Hayes had an assist on 14 of 17 made baskets. Nate Griggs had five and Paul Burris had four to lead the way.
“I thought our guys were really unselfish tonight,” Hayes coach Jordan Blackburn said. “I thought there were a lot of times where the guys made an extra pass to get it to somebody that was even more open.”
Burris got most of his feeds out of the post.
“We were trying to go inside out,” Blackburn said. “When Burris (or Terin Kinsway) get the ball against a zone in the high post – a lot of times they (the defense) collapse. (Burris) passes the ball really well out of the high post.”
Ryan Smudz hit a pair of first quarter 3s and Burris added a 3-point play to cap a 17-7 start. Smudz added a third triple later to finish with 11 points and Burris added nine points and seven rebounds.
Kinsway scored 11 points in the second quarter, including nine points during an 11-2 run that pushed Hayes’ lead as high as 16. He finished with a double-double with 14 points and 10 boards.
Nick Camacho flipped one in with 47 seconds left in the half to cut Berlin’s deficit to 30-16 at the break.
Griggs scored five of his nine points in the third quarter as the Pacers (15-6, 9-5) added to their lead.
Then, Addison Harvey scored the team’s first 12 points in a 16-3 final frame. He was held scoreless to that point.
“I think it’s just how close we are as a team,” Kinsway said. “We don’t care whose night it is, we don’t care who scores 30 points – we just want to win.”
Still, despite those positives, Blackburn had two other words to offer – energy and focus – or rather, lack thereof.
“I wasn’t happy with our focus in the first half,” Blackburn said. “We had a couple of times where there was a guy in the wrong spot or a couple of unforced turnovers, which are inexcusable.
“At about the halfway point of the third quarter I thought our energy and focus were there … we went on a little run from there and that was the game.”
He graded his team at about a 70 on a 100-point scale.
“This time of year, we’re trying to max out what we can do,” Blackburn said. “We want to be as close to 100 as possible … and I know it’s never going to be perfect. Tonight, that wasn’t the case. So, we’re excited to get back at it tomorrow.”
Hayes closes out the regular season at home against Marion Harding in non-league play tonight at 7:30 p.m.
Grant Schrieber scored seven of his 10 points in the second half to lead the Bears (3-19, 0-14). He also led the team with four rebounds. Austin Corley and Camacho added five points apiece.
“They made their really good shots and we didn’t,” Berlin coach Donovon Barrett said. “They have better players than we do – more experienced guys. So, that’s part of the battle.”
But it was simple for Barrett, whose team did not convert from the field in the final period.
“We were 7-for-35 from the field,” he said. “You’re never going to beat anyone ever in a varsity basketball game going 7-for-35. It’s that simple.”
Berlin is off until Feb. 25 when it travels to top-seeded Columbus South in the first round of the Division II district tournament, which is set to start at 7 p.m. The Bears are the 23-seed in their first tournament.
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichnotwealthy or contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.