The Delaware Christian boys basketball team never quite found its form … and Cardington-Lincoln took advantage.
The visiting Pirates led from start to finish Tuesday night in Delaware, parlaying a 32-17 halftime lead into a 57-45 Division IV District Tournament win.
The loss capped what was a solid season for the ninth-seeded Eagles, who finished 14-9, won an outright Mid-Ohio Christian Athletic League title and earned the home tournament game for their efforts.
The 10th-seeded Pirates never let them get comfortable, though. DCS’ Pryce Johnson scored inside to even things at two three minutes into the action, but Cardington scored eight of the next nine points to take a 10-3 lead.
Johnson found James Vasek under the hoop for an easy bucket out of a timeout, but DCS still trailed, 10-5, in the final minute of the first quarter.
Nathan Stewart was fouled shooting a three early in the second, and made all three of the ensuing free throws, but the Pirates’ Garrett Linkous hit a three on the other end to balloon the lead to 18-8.
Dayne Johnson knocked down a deep triple to keep the Eagles close, but Cayman Spires connected on a pair of triples in the final 2:30 of the half as Cardington created some separation before the break.
See the theme? DCS made runs, but Cardington always had an answer.
The Eagles used a 12-7 third to get back within striking distance, down 10, 39-29, with one quarter to play, but Trey Brininger and the Pirates never let them get any closer.
Brininger scored 10 of his game-high 20 points in the fourth, including five straight to open the quarter. Spires backed Brininger with 11 points and Linkous and Josh Shook had six apiece.
Dayne Johnson led DCS with 18 points in the setback. Vasek and Pryce Johnson were also steady, finishing with 10 and nine points, respectively.
With the win, the Pirates advance to Friday’s district semifinal against Berne Union at a site to be determined. Tip is set for 7 p.m.