Joel Addo played the role of the hero in Wednesday’s OCC-Central showdown against visiting Upper Arlington, tipping in a missed three-pointer at the buzzer to lift the Olentangy Orange boys basketball team to a thrilling 45-43 win.
After getting a key stop on the defensive end, and surveying the scene on offense, the Pioneers called a timeout with 26.1 seconds left. The play they drew up worked well, too, as Elias Lewis got a good look at a potential game-winning triple in the final seconds. The shot was just off the mark, but Addo crashed the boards and, thanks to his hustle, was in the right place at the right time.
The game was tight throughout. UA led most of the way, but never by much more than a bucket or two. Jason Foster carried the Pioneers in the third, scoring all six of their points in the quarter.
In the fourth, though, he got some help. Andre Irvin split a pair of free throws to make it a one-point game, Addo forced a steal and Lewis scored to give Orange a 42-41 lead midway through the fourth.
Jordan Bethel split a pair from the stripe a few possessions later before the Golden Bears got the equalizer with just over a minute to play to set up the closing sequence.
Olentangy Liberty 57, Canton McKinley 56
Henry Hinkle and Andrew Wade executed a screen and roll to perfection in the final seconds of Wednesday’s showdown against the visiting Bulldogs, lifting the Patriots past Canton McKinley for the second time this season.
Hinkle forced a turnover to give Liberty possession, down 56-55 with just under a minute left in regulation. Nearly a minute later, with nine seconds left, he found Wade for the game-winning hoop.
Wade finished with a game-high 20 points while Hinkle added 11 in the win.
Kobe Johnson led the Bulldogs with 18 points in the setback.
Wadsworth 44, Delaware Hayes 42
Jesse Burris scored a game-high 13 points, including four in overtime, but the Pacers came a bucket short of rallying for a non-league win against the host Grizzlies Wednesday afternoon in Wadsworth.
Ryan Smudz backed Burris with 12 points while Ryan Polter, Hezekiah Russell and Jake Lowman finished with five points apiece.
Also: Parma Normandy 44, Olentangy 43.
Delaware Hayes used a 25-11 third quarter to take control and survived a late push to knock off host Upper Arlington 59-53 in non-league action Wednesday night.
Already up 30-25 at the break, the Pacers ballooned their lead to 55-36 with the big third. Alexis Amabile, who had a game-high 36 points in the win, scored 20 in the third quarter alone.
The Golden Bears rallied late, outscoring Hayes 17-4 over the course of the final eight minutes of action, but the hole created by Amabile and company proved too deep to climb out of.
Amabile hit five threes in the win, four as part of the big third quarter, while Chloe Jeffers added 10 points in the win.
Annie Hargraves led UA with 18 points.
Olentangy Liberty 48, Thomas Worthington 28
The Patriots dominated on the defensive end, allowing no more than nine points in any one quarter en route to a non-league win over the host Cardinals Wednesday afternoon.
Liberty led 13-8 after the first quarter and 26-14 by the break.
Sarah Balliett led the charge with 13 points while Taylor Redman and Gigi Bower finished with seven points each in the win.
Big Walnut 50, Olentangy 42
The Golden Eagles played well down the stretch, outscoring the visiting Braves 7-2 in the third quarter and 22-13 in the fourth to flip a halftime deficit into a solid non-league win Wednesday night in Sunbury.
Abby Brown led Big Walnut with 16 points while Annie Thomas and Andie Stewart finished in double figures as well, chipping in 15 and 10 points, respectively.
Meg Spohn boosted Olentangy with 14 points, including 10 in the fourth quarter.
Dublin Scioto 44, Olentangy Orange 19
The Pioneers started slow and never recovered, falling to the host Irish in non-league action Wednesday afternoon in Dublin.
Kayla and Emma Delmore accounted for all but two of the Orange points, finishing with 11 and six, respectively.