Pioneers can’t keep up with Vikings


By Michael Rich - For the Gazette



ASHEVILLE – The Olentangy Orange girls basketball team looked poised for an upset for the better part of a quarter.

But host Teays Valley got hot from 3-point range and blew past the Pioneers 71-29 in the first round of the Division I district tournament Saturday afternoon.

Orange Coach Bob Scott said his team’s fortunes changed when Teays Valley changed defenses from a man-to-man in the first to a matchup-zone in the second.

“We got layups in the first quarter,” he said. “Then when they went to a zone … we didn’t get to the basket. We started to in the second half, but by that time we were throwing the ball away too much and they extended their lead.”

Reagan Willingham knocked down a 3-pointer off a Megan Bush feed in the final seconds of the opening frame to cut TV’s deficit to 13-12.

“I thought we really rushed some shots early in the first quarter,” TV coach Joel Baker said. “After the first couple, I told them to slow it down, work our offense and then get those shots. I think they were just a little anxious because it was the tournament.”

The 11th-seeded Vikings went off from there – knocking down five 3s in the second quarter and finished with 11 for the game.

“Once we got a couple of 3s to go down – it was really hard (on their defense),” Baker said. “We’ve got a couple of kids that can score them and they were going down from every which way today – which makes us really fun to watch.”

Willingham was responsible for six long balls and finished with 30 points, five assists and three steals.

TV shared the ball exceptionally well with 22 assists on 25 baskets.

Defensively, the Vikings finished with 15 steals – led by Ashley Deweese with four and and Jaylah Captain and Bri Russell matching Willingham with three apiece.

“I think once we got some easy buckets off our defense … it sort of calmed us down a little bit,” Baker said. “We’ve got three or four defenses that we use and we try them out until one of them works and we stick with that for a little while.”

Kierstyn Liming got hot in the second quarter with a pair of 3-pointers and eight of her 13 points. She also dished out three assists in the frame and finished with five for the game to go with a game-high eight rebounds.

Captain had 12 points, Megan Bush added 10 points and three assists and Russell chipped in six points, seven rebounds and three assists for the Vikings (20-3).

Madi Riley scored eight of her team-high 12 points in the third quarter. She finished with six rebounds to lead the team and a game-high three blocks for the 34th-seeded Pioneers (5-18).

Riley Duffy added 10 points and Anna Grabau dished out six helpers to go with four rebounds to lead Orange.

“They played at a fast pace and we got tired,” Scott said. “We’ve got some things we just need to get better at.”

Teays Valley hosts 18th-seeded Canal Winchester in the second round Friday night at 7 p.m.

BOYS BASKETBALL

Terin Kinsway celebrated Senior Night with a career high in points as part of a double-double to lead Delaware Hayes to a lopsided 65-35 win over Marion Harding in non-league play to wrap up the regular season Saturday night in Delaware.

Kinsway went for 31 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Pacers, who opened 17-3 and never looked back.

Nate Griggs added 10 points, senior Jwan Lyles chipped in eight points and seven boards and fellow senior Jack Weller pulled down five rebounds for the Pacers (16-6), who have won three straight games.

Hayes enters the Division I district tournament as the 20th seed and will host 24th-seeded Westerville Central Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. in a rematch of last year’s first round.

Olentangy Orange 66, Massillon Perry 53

The Pioneers outscored Perry in each of the first three quarters on their way to a non-league win in their regular-season finale Saturday afternoon at North Canton Hoover.

Bryson Lane had a game-high 25 points and Andre Irvin added 16 to lead Orange (15-7), while Jagger Hayes had 21 points to lead the Panthers (12-10).

Orange, which is seeded 13th in the Division I district tournament, will host the winner of 20th-seeded Delaware Hayes and 24th-seeded Westerville Central Mar. 1 at 7 p.m.

Big Walnut 46, Mount Vernon 36

Kegan Hienton scored eight of his game-high 16 points in the first half to lead the Golden Eagles to a non-league win on the road in their regular-season finale Saturday night in Mount Vernon.

Jagger Barnett and Jordan Koebel added eight points apiece for BW, which closes the season on a three-game winning streak.

The Eagles, seeded 26th in the Division I district tournament, have a first-round bye and will face the winner of 15th-seeded Gahanna Lincoln and 30th-seeded Dublin Scioto Mar. 1 at the better seed’s site.

Buckeye Valley 59, Linden McKinley 49

Dylan Herbert had 14 points and Troy Scowden added 13 to lead the Barons to a non-league win Saturday night in Columbus.

Dylan Thompson and Jevin Beard each had nine points for BV, which led 16-9 after one quarter.

The Barons close out the regular season at Marion Pleasant in MOAC play Friday night at 7:30 p.m.

MEN’S BASKETBALL

Jaret Gerber hit a pair of 3-pointers and added two free throws to help Ohio Wesleyan overcome an 11-point deficit in the final four minutes to force overtime.

But, Denison went on a 9-0 run in the extra frame to escape with a 95-94 win in NCAC play at Branch Rickey Arena in Delaware.

Gerber finished with 22 points, Ethan Stanislawski added 17 points and Gabe Johnson went for 15 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Bishops (12-13, 7-11).

Matt Doyle had 26 points and nine assists, Jack Coulter added 25 points and Conor Fenton had 15 rebounds to lead the Big Red (7-17, 4-14).

OWU is the seventh-seed in the upcoming NCAC tournament and will travel to second-seeded Wittenberg Tuesday night at 6 p.m.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

Denison scored the first four points of the game and never trailed, handing host Ohio Wesleyan a 61-50 loss in NCAC action Saturday afternoon at Branch Rickey Arena in Delaware.

Claire Sterling led the Bishops (10-15, 5-11) with 15 points, five rebounds and three blocks.

Cierra Joiner added seven points and five boards and Erin Delaney had five steals and four assists to back OWU, which has lost six straight games.

Lauren Longbrake had 25 points and 13 rebounds, Zyah Beal added 11 points and three steals, Lauren Hofer chipped in nine points and eight boards and Valesha Province had five assists to lead the Big Red (16-8, 12-4).

OWU is seeded sixth in the NCAC tournament. The Bishops travel to third-seeded Kenyon Tuesday night at a time to be announced.

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By Michael Rich

For the Gazette

Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichnotwealthy or contact him at mrichnotwealthy@gmail.com.

Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichnotwealthy or contact him at mrichnotwealthy@gmail.com.