By Michael Rich
The Delaware Hayes boys basketball team dropped a heartbreaker 48-45 to visiting Pickerington North Tuesday night.
Senior guard Tyrell Carter led the Panthers with 17 points, which included a 10-for-11 showing at the foul line and 6-for-7 effort when they needed it most in the fourth quarter.
Zach McIntire led Hayes with 18 points. He also had four rebounds and two assists.
“Zach did a nice job of getting open, running the point, taking what the defense gave him and getting the ball out of traps efficiently,” Pacers coach Jordan Blackburn said.
When all was said and done, North did just enough to knock off the Pacers, who had their 13-game home winning streak snapped with the loss.
The Panthers (1-0) used size and speed during a 20-4 run in the first half.
Khiry Shelton, a junior transfer from Houston, Texas, started the run with a put-back off an offensive rebound.
Sophomore guard Ty Wiley had a steal at the top of the key and turned it into his own easy layup on the other end.
Wiley followed that with a three-pointer from the left wing to give the Panthers a 13-9 lead at the end of the first.
Jerome Hunter scored five points on back-to-back possessions for North to extend the lead further and Carter capped the run with a pair of baskets to give the Panthers a 29-15 lead in the second.
The Pacers (1-1) used a 14-0 spurt, which started in the first half on a free throw by Derrick Buford, to claw back.
Jake Bourget hit one of his four three-pointers just before the end of the half. He finished with 12 points.
“Jake stepped up and knocked down some shots in the second half,” Blackburn said.
Hayes shot 6-for-17 from behind the arc, including a pair from freshman Terin Kinsway, which included the one that capped the run and tied the score 29-29.
“We were excellent in the second half with offensive execution,” Blackburn said.
Ultimately, it was a three-pointer by Wiley on the left wing that put North on top for good at 44-43. Wiley and Dondre Palmer scored eight points each. Wiley also had three steals.
The Pacers outrebounded the much taller North team by a 33-21 margin. Kinsway led with eight, Derrick Buford had seven and Sam Midura added five.
“Buford, Midura, Kinsway and Hendrix were all studs on the glass,” Blackburn said. “Outrebounding a team 33-21 with three guys 6-7 or 6-8 and others who are close (to that height) says something about the character of our boys.”
Hunter added six points, six rebounds and three steals for North.
The Pacers open OCC-Capital play against New Albany next Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
“We will keep getting better,” Blackburn said. “That’s the fun part.”
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichdelgazette.