As was the case in its league-opening loss at Olentangy Orange earlier this season, the Olentangy Liberty boys basketball team didn’t get off to the best start during Friday’s rematch in Powell.
Fortunately for the Patriots, basketball is a four-quarter game.
Liberty trailed 15-11 after the first quarter, but, thanks to an 11-2 run midway through the second and another solid surge in the third, never trailed again en route to a 67-60 win.
Jalen Bethel scored down low to give the Pioneers a 20-17 second-quarter edge, but that’s when the Patriots made their move.
Mitchell Okuley scored to cut the deficit to one and Ben Roderick converted a three-point play to flip the scoreboard in Liberty’s favor before drilling a three-pointer on his team’s next trip down the floor to make it a 25-20 game.
Orange’s Bryson Lane made a floater to stop the bleeding a bit, but Nick Nakasian answered with a three-point play to balloon Liberty’s advantage to 28-22.
The Pioneers bounced back, making it a 28-26 game by halftime thanks to a pair of Bethel free throws and a Matt McCollum runner, but they never quite recovered.
Roderick, who finished with a game-high 28 points in the win, scored five quick ones to spark Liberty in the third, a quarter the Patriots won 21-11.
Orange won the fourth 23-18 to smooth out the scoring summary.
Nakasian backed Roderick with 10 points, Mitch Kershner added nine and Okuley chipped in six in the win.
The Pioneers were led by Lane’s 21 points while Bethel and McCollum finished with 19 and 12, respectively.
Big Walnut 60, Canal Winchester 55
The Golden Eagles used a solid middle two quarters to get the job done Friday, outscoring the visiting Indians 15-11 in the second and 15-13 in the third to build a lead they parlayed into an OCC win.
Nathan Montgomery had a big night from the stripe, making 15 of his 20 free throws on the way to a game-best 21 points. BW’s Brody Lawhun and Sam Elliott also finished in double figures, closing with respective point totals of 16 and 10.
Hilliard Darby 36, Delaware Hayes 35
Ben Gbur scored off a feed from halfcourt with three seconds left to lift the host Panthers to an OCC win over the Pacers Friday in Hilliard.
Gbur finished with a team-best 11 points for Darby.
Nate Griggs led Hayes. He finished with 18 points on the strength of a 9-for-10 effort at the free throw line.
Westerville South 80, Olentangy 65
Defense and turnovers hurt the Braves as the visiting Wildcats used a pair of big quarters — a 31-point second and 26-point fourth — to notch an OCC win Friday in Lewis Center.
Olentangy led 11-8 before being outscored 31-13 in the second.
Sean Marks led the Braves with 20 points while Christian Browning poured in a career-high 12 points in the loss.
Delaware Christian fell behind after the first quarter, but outscored visiting Village Academy in each of the final three to roll to a 46-21 non-league win Friday night in Delaware.
The Eagles outscored the Griffins 11-2 in the third to all but seal the deal. It was just the fourth third quarter they’ve won all season.
Lyssi Snouffer led all scorers with 27 points to go with 18 rebounds. Other Delaware Christian standouts included Nikki Snedden, who finished with six points and three steals; Hannah Maurer, who dished out a team-high eight assists; and the duo of Abbi Maurer and Erin Bauslaugh, who had five rebounds apiece.
Big Walnut 53, Canal Winchester 40
The Golden Eagles raced out to a 19-12 first-quarter edge and never looked back, outscoring the host Indians in every quarter on the way to an OCC win Friday in Canal Winchester.
BW’s Erin Boehm led the way with a team-high 15 points. Katie Cochran and Abby Facemyer also scored in double figures, finishing with 14 and 10 points, respectively.
Ontario 41, Buckeye Valley 36
The Barons gave it all they had in the fourth, scoring more points in the eight-minute stretch than they managed in the other three quarters combined, but it wasn’t quite enough to win Friday’s MOAC showdown in Ontario.
Buckeye Valley outscored the hosts 21-11 in the fourth — a quarter it entered trailing 30-15.
Hannah Cowan led BV with 12 points while Lisa Leienberger added 10. Dani Grether was also solid in the setback, closing with six points.
Westerville South 57, Olentangy 41
The Braves never quite found their form Friday in Westerville, getting outscored in all four quarters on the way to an OCC setback.
Grace Pennington led Olentangy with 15 points while Jessica Nation added 11.
Hilliard Darby 55, Delaware Hayes 39
Annie Rauch poured in a game-best 21 points and Sydney Wyngarden added 15 as the Panthers knocked off the Pacers in OCC action Friday in Delaware.
Alexis Amabile led Hayes with eight points.