Eagles, Patriots pick up statement wins


By Ben Stroup - bstroup@aimmediamidwest.com



The Olentangy Liberty and Big Walnut boys basketball teams took down some big-time competition Saturday … and they did it in very different ways.

The Golden Eagles, taking on the third-ranked team in the most recent Division II state poll, dominated the start of both halves on the way to a convincing 59-33 win over visiting Fairfield Union.

Big Walnut (10-5) set the tone with a dominate 14-5 first quarter and never looked back. It won the second 12-11 before winning the third 15-4 to all but seal the deal.

The Eagles outscored the Falcons 18-13 in the fourth to smooth out the scoring summary.

Jagger Barnett poured in four three-pointers en route to a game-high 16 points while Jared Kreager added 14 and Kegan Hienton chipped in 11.

Huston Harrah led Fairfield Union with 11 points in the setback.

Down the road in Powell, the Patriots had to battle back from an early deficit in order to clip visiting Harvest Prep — the defending state champ and top team in the most recent Division III state poll — 74-72 in overtime.

Liberty (10-4) trailed 18-10 after the first quarter, but managed to build an 11-point lead by the early stages of the fourth.

Prep battled back behind Christopher Anthony, who finished with a game-high 33 points, and Malachi Henry scored a put-back bucket with two seconds left to force OT, but the Patriots regained control in the extra session.

Cam Barcus hit what proved to be the game-winning hoop with five seconds left in overtime. Anthony got off a three at the horn, but missed as Liberty escaped with the win.

Henry Hinkle had 23 points while Andrew Wade added 20 for the Patriots. Kal Jayaraman also finished in double figures with 14.

The win was the Patriots’ fifth straight.

Delaware Hayes 72, Western Reserve Academy 59

The Pacers outscored visiting Western Reserve Academy 45-28 in the second half to notch a solid non-league win Saturday night in Delaware.

Nate Griggs led a balanced Hayes attack with 20 points while Nabil Abdus-salaam and Paul Burris added 19 apiece.

Olentangy Orange 56, Watterson 51

Ryan Cutler finished with 15 points and Andre Irvin added 12 to lead the Pioneers to a non-league win over the visiting Eagles Saturday in Lewis Center.

Mike Bruzzese led Watterson with 18 points in the loss.

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By Ben Stroup

bstroup@aimmediamidwest.com