The Delaware Christian boys basketball team used a 12-0 run in the fourth quarter to get as close as four, but couldn’t climb out of a 23-point hole in a 69-61 loss to Gahanna Christian Thursday night in Delaware.
Gahanna Christian used a 12-3 run in the second quarter to gain control on its way to a Division IV second-round victory.
“It’s encouraging and frustrating because I see what could be,” DCS coach Jon Landrum said. “We did a great job in the fourth quarter. You’re talking about a huge deficit overcome and it really had nothing to do with offense – it was all defensive pressure, forcing turnovers and just being relentless.”
Daniel Nyarko led GCA (13-10) with 23 points and 15 rebounds. He had 14 points and 10 rebounds in the first half.
Dylan Sino scored seven straight points during a 13-2 run. He had a steal, which led to his own layup and followed with back-to-back threes.
Sino finished with 19 points and five steals and Sloan Howard added 12 points and four assists for GCA.
“They always have a really good team – the size gets us,” Landrum said.
Josh Roehrenbeck pushed the GCA lead as high as 23 with a three-pointer late in the period.
Curtis Bean’s put-back cut the DCS deficit to 57-36 at the end of the third.
Bean and Isaac Hedges each connected on three-pointers in the fourth quarter to help DCS creep back.
But, it was its pressure defense that forced 12 turnovers in the final frame. Isaac Rindfuss converted an Andrew Dunnavant steal into two points to cut it as close as 61-57 with about a minute left.
“I wanted to get that press going, but it’s been a struggle to get guys to buy into it … and that was an example of (why) I love that press,” Landrum said. “When they really buy into it – we don’t have a lot of size – but, we have some fast guys that can really chase the ball down and cause some havoc.”
DCS turned it over twice in the final minute and GCA converted 8 of 10 free throws down the stretch to ice the game.
Adam Standley paced DCS with 19 points and 10 rebounds and Rindfuss added 14 points and six assists for DCS (12-11), which has improved by three wins in each of its last two seasons.
“I’m pumped about next year,” Landrum said. “With the guys we have coming back and the guys coming up (from middle school), I’m excited to coach. I don’t know what our record will be, but I know we’ll be competitive.”
GCA faces top-seeded Harvest Prep in the district semifinal Wednesday night at 7 p.m. at a site to be determined.
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichdelgazette.