Hornets pull away from Golden Eagles


By Ben Stroup - bstroup@aimmediamidwest.com



Big Walnut’s Troy Musser shoots over Licking Heights’ Dante Collier (21) during the first half of Tuesday’s non-league showdown in Sunbury.

Big Walnut’s Troy Musser shoots over Licking Heights’ Dante Collier (21) during the first half of Tuesday’s non-league showdown in Sunbury.


Ben Stroup | The Gazette

The Big Walnut boys basketball team used a 7-3 run to tighten things up late in the third quarter, but visiting Licking Heights took advantage of the free throw line in the fourth to create some separation and pull away for a 67-58 non-league win Tuesday night in Sunbury.

Down 34-30 with 6:40 left in the third quarter, the Golden Eagles used a five-point trip to take a brief lead. Caleb Conard started the sequence with a strong finish at the rim, converting a layin through contact. He missed the ensuing free throw, but Ryan Tripp slipped in for the offensive rebound.

The junior guard passed it back out to Conard, who then found him open in the right corner for three, giving BW a 35-34 lead.

The game stayed tight until the end of the quarter, with the Hornets hanging on to a 46-45 lead.

That’s when they took over at the line. Licking Heights outscored Big Walnut 21-13 in the fourth thanks in large part to a 9-for-11 performance at the line.

Jaivon Miller and Dennis Gilmore-Holley converted two free throws apiece before Yara Conde scored underneath to balloon the Hornet edge to 52-47 with 5:39 to play.

The Eagles’ Carter Imertreijs hit a three to make it a two-point game, 54-52 with three minutes left, but the Hornets closed on a 13-6 run to seal the deal.

Miller led Licking Heights with 18 points while Collier had 15 in the win.

Jagger Barnett paced Big Walnut with 14 points while Tripp and Owen Wilhelm chipped in 12 each.

Olentangy Berlin 59, Fairland 58

Austin Corley calmly connected on three straight free throws with no time on the clock as the Bears rallied for their second come-from-behind win in as many days Tuesday afternoon against the host Dragons.

Down by 11 at the start of the fourth quarter, Berlin battled all the way back to even with 30 seconds left in the game. The Bears had possession, too, but Fairland stole the entry pass and got a bucket from Jacob Polcyn to take a two-point lead in the final seconds.

Corley got a look at a potential game-winning three as the buzzer sounded. He missed the shot, but was fouled, setting up the game-deciding free throws. He finished with a game-high 29 points in the win.

Also: Olentangy 55, Cleveland Benedictine 45.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Delaware Hayes scored 21 points in the first quarter and never looked back, rolling to a 59-45 non-league win over visiting Bishop Ready Tuesday in Delaware.

Six different players scored in the first for the Pacers — Porter Barickman led the way with six while Alexis Amabile had five.

Hayes used a 14-9 second quarter to build a 35-20 lead at the break and all but sealed the deal with a 15-8 third.

Chloe Jeffers and Amabile finished with 12 points apiece in the win while Barickman added 10. Myah Byers and Telijah McCollum were solid as well, finishing with nine points each.

Reagan Wheatley and Ava Baker led Ready with 10 points apiece.

Also: Bexley 57, Olentangy Berlin 37.

FROM MONDAY

Jason Inbody poured in a team-leading 21 points, including the game-winning layin as time expired, to lift the Olentangy Berlin boys basketball team to a thrilling 43-42 non-league win over visiting Delaware Hayes Monday afternoon.

The Pacers used a big second quarter to take control early, outscoring the Bears 15-6 on the way to a 23-15 halftime lead.

Berlin clawed back into things in the third, slicing its deficit to five by the start of the fourth quarter, and rallied down the stretch.

The Pacers’ Jesse Burris led all scorers with 22 points while Ryan Smudz added nine in the setback.

Buckeye Valley 70, Fairland 61

The Barons started fast and finished with a flurry to knock off the visiting Dragons in non-league action Monday night in Delaware.

Buckeye Valley, which improved to 6-0 with the win, parlayed a 13-6 second quarter into a 29-17 halftime advantage. Fairland, which finished 24-2 last year before their regional final was cancelled due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19, scored 41 second-half points, including 27 in the fourth, but BV answered bucket-for-bucket with 27 fourth-quarter points of its own.

Dylan Thompson scored seven of his team-best 17 points in the fourth to lead the Barons. Owen Osborne and Troy Scowden also finished in double figures, closing with 13 and 10 points, respectively.

Big Walnut’s Troy Musser shoots over Licking Heights’ Dante Collier (21) during the first half of Tuesday’s non-league showdown in Sunbury.
https://www.delgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2020/12/web1_bw20.jpgBig Walnut’s Troy Musser shoots over Licking Heights’ Dante Collier (21) during the first half of Tuesday’s non-league showdown in Sunbury. Ben Stroup | The Gazette

By Ben Stroup

bstroup@aimmediamidwest.com