By Ben Stroup
The Olentangy Liberty girls basketball team opened the Division I Central District tournament in style, rolling past visiting Westland 80-37 Saturday in Powell.
The Patriots (20-3) started strong and never looked back, racing out to a 22-7 lead by the end of the first quarter. They outscored the Cougars (3-19) 18-6 in the second, 22-12 in the third and 18-12 in the fourth to seal the deal.
Liberty got contributions from 13 different players, including Bre Yashko, who finished with a game-high 19 points and five three-pointers. Lauren Hofer (12 points), Taylor Hodak (11), Savitha Jayaraman (11) and Madison King (10) also scored in double figures.
With the win, the second-seeded Patriots advance to Friday’s sectional final against 35th-seeded Olentangy Orange — a team they beat 84-46 in the regular season. Tip is slated for 7 p.m. at Liberty.
River Valley 75, Buckeye Valley 64
The Barons outscored the visiting Vikings in each of the final three quarters to force overtime, but were outscored 11-0 in the extra session en route to a 75-64 MOAC setback Saturday in Delaware.
Down 23-16 after one, Buckeye Valley outscored River Valley 16-12 in the second, 10-9 in the third and 22-20 in the fourth.
Despite the loss, BV post Logan Hatcher had a monster night, scoring 19 points while pulling down another 19 rebounds. Megan Veneman and Morgan Scowden were also solid, each finishing with 14 points.
The Barons open tourney play tonight against visiting Bexley. Tip is set for 6 p.m.
Follow Ben Stroup on Twitter @delgazette_ben.