Isaac Settles cleaned up a miss and scored a put-back bucket with 3.2 seconds left to lift host Thomas Worthington to a 49-47 win over Olentangy in the second round of the Division I district tournament Friday night.
The thriller was just the latest in what has been a season full of close calls for the 32nd-seeded Braves, who’ve had nine of their 23 games decided by a single possession (three points or less).
They looked poised to be on the right side of the close call this time around as Jake Elmore, who finished with a team-best 10 points, calmly cashed in on a pair of free throws to give his team a 47-44 lead with a minute to play.
Jalen Sullinger was fouled slicing to the hoop on the ensuing possession, though, and after making the first free throw and missing the second, Thomas secured the offensive rebound found Tyrese Hughey underneath to even things at 47 with 45 seconds left.
Olentangy’s Ethan Smith missed a contested jumper with about 14 seconds left and Thomas quickly pushed the ball down the floor. The Cardinals missed their initial game-winning attempt, but Settles was in the right spot at the right time, corralling the rebound and putting in what proved to be the difference in a single motion.
Elmore, who hit two of the Braves’ four three-pointers — the second of which gave his team a 45-43 lead with 1:44 left — got a desperation heave off at the buzzer, but it fell well short.
Zach Wieging backed Emore with nine points while Smith finished with seven off the bench.
Sullinger closed with a game-high 18 points for the seventh-seeded Cardinals. Settles had nine points and Maurice Collins finished with seven in the win.
Next up, Thomas will get ninth-seeded Olentangy Liberty in Wednesday’s district semifinal. Tip is set for 7 p.m. at a site to be determined.
Delaware Hayes 49, St. Charles 30
The Pacers led from start to finish, outscoring the Cardinals in all four quarters to pull away for a convincing Division I district tournament win Friday night at Pickerington North.
Eighteenth-seeded Hayes, which snapped 12th-seeded St. Charles’ 13-game winning streak, got 17 points from Nate Griggs and another 13 from Paul Burris. Both hit early threes as the Pacers raced out to a 14-10 lead after one.
They outscored the Cardinals 13-9 in the second quarter, 14-7 in the third and 8-4 in the fourth to smooth out the scoring summary.
Raj Ishwar backed Griggs and Burris with eight points while Nabil Abdus-salaam and Addison Harvey had four apiece.
Victor Searls had a team-best eight points for St. Charles.
Next up, Hayes will take on fourth-seeded Pickerington Central in Wednesday’s district semifinal. Tip is slated for 7 p.m. at a site to be determined.
Olentangy Liberty 63, Northland 54
The visiting Vikings used a strong second quarter to take a halftime lead, but the Patriots’ pedigree prevailed down the stretch as the defending district champs rallied for a Division I district tournament win Friday night in Powell.
Liberty trailed 41-33 with two minutes left in the third quarter before turning things around in a big way. It started with Henry Hinkle, who scored seven of his team’s next nine points as the Patriots closed to within two, 44-42, after three.
Hinkle and company then dominated down the stretch, outscoring Northland 21-10 in the fourth quarter to advance.
Hinkle finished with a game-high 23 points and made 14 of his 16 second-half free throws. Ty Foster added 16 points in the win while Cam Barcus and Andrew Wade had 11 apiece.
Makhale Massey led the Vikings with 16 points while Robert Dorsey III and Shemar Watson had 11 each.