By Michael Rich
Logan Hatcher picked up a double-double with a game-high 15 points and 12 rebounds to lead host Buckeye Valley past rival Delaware Hayes 50-32 in girls basketball action Tuesday night.
“I think that was big for her confidence and her team’s confidence,” Barons coach Landon Fraker said. “She leads by working hard. So, when the other kids watch her working hard, it encourages them to work hard along with her.
“(Hatcher) does a lot of the intangibles that don’t end up in the stats. I thought she did a great job of backside rebounding … I thought she did a great job of getting in position to score. (Before) she was kind of rushing it a little bit. This time she was ready to catch and shoot every time she caught it.”
Megan Veneman and Morgan Scowden added 13 points each. Veneman dished out six assists and had five rebounds and four steals while Scowden had two steals of her own for BV.
“(Veneman) gets to the hole a lot,” Fraker said. “She’s making good decisions. She could have easily had 20 points, but the layups weren’t falling for her like they normally do.”
The Barons used a 20-3 run in the first half to create some distance. Kelsey Shearer’s basket gave Buckeye Valley (4-3) a 5-4 lead and started the run. Hatcher had six points during the pivotal run and Scowden hit a key three-pointer, one of three she had on the night.
“I just got into a groove and finally got my game back,” Hatcher said. “The team played well together. Once we got up it (got) our confidence going.”
The Pacers finished the half 6-0 to pull to 23-13 at the break. Jessica Walker scored four of her team-high six first-half points during the run. She finished with 10 points and eight rebounds, both team-highs.
“(Walker has) some toughness and some talent,” Hayes coach Jim Morgan said. “She’s just got untapped potential. She’s got to keep working. This is her first year playing varsity. She has no clue what she’s doing and she’s doing a good job. She’s learning — she’s going to be a player for us.”
But, Morgan felt there were missed opportunities in the first half.
“If you can’t score, you can’t win,” he said. “In the first half, we missed six layups. Ideally, are you going to make all of them? Probably not, but if you make half of them … you got to score (and) you got to rebound.”
Hayes (1-6) pulled the deficit to five by scoring seven of the first nine points of the second half. Brandy Bauer had back-to-back buckets, the former capping a possession that started with her own steal and the latter a put-back after an offensive rebound.
“Brandy is giving us everything she’s got,” Morgan said. “I’m so proud of the seniors because they’ve been through a really rough four years and they have not given up. I’m really proud of their effort and their attitude.”
Bauer added eight points, five rebounds, two blocks and two steals for the Pacers while Katie Blair picked up a game-high five steals.
Scowden hit her second three-pointer and Veneman completed three-point plays on consecutive possessions after a timeout for Buckeye Valley to push the lead to 33-22.
“(Scowden’s threes) were big, big, big to loosen up the zone,” Fraker said. “Once the zone loosened up and Megan was able to penetrate … that stuff doesn’t happen without Morgan hitting some big shots.”
The Barons cruised the rest of the way, outscoring Hayes 17-8 to put it out of reach.
The Pacers are trying to build and Morgan says that a lot of the growing pains they are facing right now will improve with work in the offseason.
“It takes time and individual effort — the shooting and scoring, that comes in the offseason,” he said. “In practice, we can do some things too. We just got to keep plugging.”
“They play hard — (Morgan has) them pointed in the right direction,” Fraker said. “The closer they get, the more confidence they get. And when they get closer to you, they play better because that’s what confidence does. I think he’s doing a great job with them.”
Each team had won once since the series resumed for the 2013-14 season. The Pacers won the first meeting at BV and the Barons won last season at Hayes.
Both teams return to league-play Friday night. Hayes visits OCC-Capital foe Olentangy Orange and Buckeye Valley looks to stay in the MOAC-Red race with a home game against Jonathan Alder. Both are scheduled to tip at 7:30 p.m.
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichdelgazette.
Big Walnut 40, Centerburg 38
Big Walnut picked up its second straight two-point win, outlasting host Centerburg 40-38 in non-league action Tuesday night.
The game was tight from the start. The Golden Eagles trailed by just three, 18-15, at halftime before outscoring the hosts 13-11 in the third and 12-9 in the fourth to account for the final margin.
Taryn Hammond led Big Walnut with nine points, Kelly Kreager added eight and Katie Cochran chipped in seven.
Orange had to battle to keep pace with perfection, but got hot from the foul line to turn a nine-point, second-half deficit into a solid 60-51 non-league win over visiting Marion Harding Tuesday in Lewis Center.
The Pioneers, who trailed 31-25 at halftime, outscored the Presidents 13-7 in the third quarter and 22-13 in the fourth to seal the deal. They hit 11 of their 14 fourth-quarter free throws and nailed 22 of their 29 from the stripe for the game.
Colin Shepherd finished with a team-best 16 points, Grant Gossard followed with 15 and Even Lewis had 11 for the Pioneers, who improved to 6-0 with the win.
Orange gets back to OCC play Friday, set to face Hayes in Delaware.
Big Walnut 53, Highland 46
Ben Saxe finished with a game-high 17 points and Kaleb Phillips added 14 as Big Walnut notched its first win of the season — a 53-46 non-league decision over host Highland Tuesday night.
The Golden Eagles, who had been getting off to slow starts, flipped the script, using a 17-7 first-quarter surge to set the tone.
Alex Kelso was also solid in the win, finishing with nine points.
Big Walnut (1-6) returns to action Friday against host Mount Vernon.
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichdelgazette.