The Big Walnut boys basketball team set the tone with a 21-point first quarter on the way to a 71-56 OCC-Capital Division win over visiting Westerville North Thursday night in Sunbury.
The Golden Eagles were in attack mode early, jumping out to a 10-3 lead thanks to six quick points from Troy Musser and another four from Jagger Barnett.
The Warriors’ Javen McNeil hit floaters on back-to-back trips midway through the opening quarter, but Caleb Conard countered the first with a three-pointer and Jared Kreager finished off a three-point play the old-fashioned way to answer the second and keep the Eagles, who led 21-14 after one, in front.
Big Walnut doubled its lead by halftime, turning defense into offense early in the second quarter. Garrett Stover and Musser scored off steals from Carter Imertreijs and Conard.
North’s Caleb Iheukwu scored to stop a 6-0 BW run, then hit a three and converted inside with a nice finish, but Stover scored inside and Barnett got a transition hoop to balloon the lead to 35-21 by the break.
Andrew Scurlock scored five straight points to keep the Warriors within striking distance — 41-29 with 5:17 left in the third — but the Eagles proved to be too much on the offensive end.
North’s Carter Reese scored inside to get it to an 11-point spread, but that’s as close as it would get. Imertreijs hit a three to make it a 54-40 game after three and Stover scored inside to open the fourth.
Another three from Reese made it 62-51 with 3:57 left, but Conard punctuated the win, slamming home a lob from Musser with a minute to play.
Musser and Kreager led the way with 14 points apiece while Conard finished with 12 and Barnett and Stover poured in 10 points each.
Reese was the only Warrior to finish in double figures, closing with 10 points in the setback.
Delaware Hayes 57, Mount Vernon 51, OT
The Pacers outscored the visiting Yellow Jackets 9-5 in the fourth to send the game into overtime, then won the extra session 8-2 to notch a hard-fought non-league win Thursday night in Delaware.
Hayes sealed the deal at the free-throw line. After getting there just four times in regulation, the Pacers went 8-for-13 in OT to account for the final margin.
Jesse Burris, who finished with a game-high 22 points, had eight in the first quarter before scoring all five of Hayes’ points in the second.
Mount Vernon, meanwhile, was lights out in the second, outscoring Hayes 19-5 to take a 29-19 lead into halftime.
The Pacers used a 21-15 third to start the comeback before the solid fourth and overtime completed it.
Ryan Smudz backed Burris with 13 points while Jake Lowman added 12.
Carter Carpenter led the Jackets with 13 points in the setback while Dayne Burgess and Blake Meyer finished with 11 apiece.
Emma Schmate scored a game-best 17 points, Peyton Lunsford added 16 and Madyson Stottsberry chipped in 11 as top-seeded Newark rolled to a 62-13 Division I sectional final win over visiting and 39th-seeded Olentangy Orange Thursday night.
Kayla Delmore led the Pioneers with six points while Reese Miller added five in the setback.