Pacers bury Grizzlies, 41-19


By Michael Rich - For the Gazette



Hayes’ Nate Griggs, right, drives past a Wadsworth defender during the first half of Saturday’s non-league showdown in Delaware.

Hayes’ Nate Griggs, right, drives past a Wadsworth defender during the first half of Saturday’s non-league showdown in Delaware.


Ben Stroup | Gazette

DELAWARE – The Delaware Hayes boys basketball team scored the first six points and never trailed in a 41-19 win over visiting Wadsworth in non-league play Saturday afternoon.

Nate Griggs scored nine of his 14 points in a 14-2 second quarter to help the Pacers create distance, and they rolled from there. Griggs added three rebounds and a pair of assists in the win.

It’s no coincidence that Griggs’ return coincides with the three-game winning streak Hayes currently rides.

“It’s good having him back,” Hayes coach Adam Vincenzo said. “Any time you have a four-year starter out of action it’s going to make a difference. Getting him back just makes us who we are … it gives us our identity.”

Griggs suffered a knee injury in the Pacers’ season-opening game against Buckeye Valley – a 52-45 loss in overtime. Hayes went on to lose the next four games.

“It’s not the way we wanted to start the season,” Vincenzo said. “But we’re on a steady incline. Last year, I think we kind of peaked right around this time. But this year, we’re still rising. We started off rough, but now we’re getting guys back and we’re getting healthy.”

The Pacers also got Addison Harvey back against Wadsworth after he missed three games with a shoulder injury. He had two rebounds, two assists and a steal off the bench.

“Adding Harvey back today was good, too,” Vincenzo said. “Just getting him some minutes. Him, Paul (Burris) and Nate haven’t been on the floor together since the BV game.”

Ryan Smudz knocked down a three-pointer to start a 9-0 run to close the third quarter as the Pacers (3-5) pushed their lead to 39-11.

Smudz had nine points and Burris, who scored Hayes’ first four points, finished with four points, nine rebounds and three blocks.

“We’re still a work in progress,” Vincenzo said. “The transition has been great. But some of the things that we do, philosophy-wise, are a little different than what we did in the past. There’s a lot of similarities, but I put my own stamp on things, too. So, that and losing a couple of guys here and there … it impacted what we were trying to do offensively. But we’re getting there.”

Owen Simmons had seven points and four rebounds and Jacob Jariga had five rebounds to go with four points for the Grizzlies (1-6).

Next up, Hayes returns to OCC-Cardinal play Friday night at home against Hilliard Bradley. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

The Delaware Hayes girls basketball team used a 15-0 run in the second quarter to take control and held off visiting Lancaster for a 56-51 win in non-league play Saturday afternoon.

Karli Theis knocked down a pair of free throws to give the Pacers a 13-11 lead with 47.2 seconds left in the first quarter. They led the rest of the way.

Chloe Jeffers scored six points, had three rebounds and an assist to key the rally for Hayes.

“We just all pulled it together and distributed the ball really well,” Jeffers said. “I just wanted it really badly.”

She finished with 14 points, nine rebounds and two assists to lead the Pacers (6-4), who led 28-18 at the break and led by as much as 14 early in the second half.

“Defensively we had probably one of our better halves of the season,” Hayes coach Lou Tiberi said. “We rebounded the ball really well, which used to be an Achilles for us. We made a couple of shots and (Lancaster) kind of got in a bad spot. We grabbed a hold of the momentum. Unfortunately, we couldn’t keep it.”

Riley Spangler knocked down a three-pointer and added a pair of free throws before Halle Spangler buried a three of her own to cap a 13-0 run in the third quarter that pulled Lancaster within 34-33 with 1:34 remaining in the frame.

“They got more aggressive and we got a little gun-shy and a little rattled,” Tiberi said. “They got to the free throw line a lot and that got them going from the perimeter. They were much more aggressive than we were (in the second half).”

Talijah McCollum had a put-back, Jeffers knocked down a pair of free throws and Alexis Amabile scored off a Theis assist to give Hayes a 40-33 lead at the end of the third.

Brittney Azbell scored 12 of her game-high 21 points in the fourth quarter for the Gales (4-6), who got as close as three on a few occasions down the stretch, but couldn’t get over the hump.

“Our calling card has been a lack of consistency,” Tiberi said. “I think we battled … we were able to pull it out there at the end.”

Azbell had 10 rebounds, three steals and a pair of blocks and Halle Spangler added 12 points and knocked down another key three-pointer in the fourth period for Lancaster.

Amabile scored 13 points and added five rebounds and two assists and Alyssa Griner added 11 points, eight rebounds and three steals for the Pacers.

Hayes returns to OCC-Cardinal play Friday night at Hilliard Bradley.

Hayes’ Nate Griggs, right, drives past a Wadsworth defender during the first half of Saturday’s non-league showdown in Delaware.
https://www.delgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2019/12/web1_IMG_6071.jpegHayes’ Nate Griggs, right, drives past a Wadsworth defender during the first half of Saturday’s non-league showdown in Delaware. Ben Stroup | Gazette

By Michael Rich

For the Gazette