Big Walnut 55, Hamilton Township 51
Jordan Koebel scored eight of his team-best 12 points in the third quarter as the Golden Eagles knocked off the visiting Raiders in non-league action Tuesday night (Dec. 12) in Sunbury.
The win was the third of the season for Big Walnut (3-1), which won just four games all of last season.
The Eagles were down early, but used a big second quarter to take control. BW outscored Hamilton Township (2-2) 18-9 in the period thanks in part to Jackson Podraza’s eight-point burst. He finished with 10 for the game.
Big Walnut added to its two-point halftime edge with a 14-11 third before holding off the visitors in the fourth.
Delaware Christian 60, Genoa Christian 47
The Delaware Christian boys basketball team bounced back with an impressive 60-47 victory over Genoa Christian in non-league action Saturday night (Dec. 16) in Delaware.
It followed the worst loss of the season – a 53-32 decision at Tree of Life Friday night in which nobody cracked double figures for the Eagles.
Coach Jon Landrum decided it was time to forget about every season-long goal the team had coming into the year, including wins and losses and league titles.
None of that matters anymore. At this point, it’s about the short term and there’s only one goal: get better today.
“(Cliché’s) are boring and you kind of role your eyes when people (use them),” Landrum said. “But, there’s a reason that good teams have that view. It’s because day by day you have to get better.”
Freshman Nathan Stewart scored 14 points in the first half and led the way with 18 points.
“The kid is just a workhorse,” senior Keenan Siebert said. “He’s out there getting shots up when nobody else is in the gym.”
Siebert scored 10 of his 15 points in the second half, including the go-ahead three-pointer in the fourth quarter that gave the Eagles (1-5) the lead for good.
“I knew that was my shot and I was going to knock it down,” he said.
Siebert scored five of the team’s seven third-quarter points as DCS built a 10-point lead.
But, Genoa Christian chipped away and cut it to two by the end of the frame before tying the game 45-45 on a Connor King basket early in the fourth.
“There was a stretch where we probably missed three or four bunnies right in a row,” Landrum said. “The offense was executing, we were getting the ball right where needed to in front of the rim and we blew those. That has been our season in a capsule. We are shooting about 30 percent on layups this season.”
Stewart found Siebert in the corner for the go-ahead three-pointer, which started a 15-2 run that ended the game.
“We really needed somebody to get something going,” Landrum said. “I think that three really – just to get us up on the scoreboard at that point – put a sense of relief in everyone and it kind of loosened everyone up.”
Injuries have been a factor in the Eagles’ slow start this season.
Ike Hedges (eight points) and Issac Rindfuss (seven points), who was the team’s top returning scorer off of last year’s squad, are both returning after battling injuries early in the year.
So, DCS never got out of the gate, dropping its first five games, including three in the MOCAL. The Eagles finished second last season after sharing a league title two seasons ago.
Siebert, along with fellow captains Rindfuss and Jon Comer decided it was up to them.
“We came together before the game and decided that we were going to keep everybody’s heads in the game – try to keep the younger guys engaged,” Siebert said.
Caleb Logan led the Lions (2-3) with 16 points and Ben Stanhope and C.J. Bartley added 10 points apiece.
Ontario 57, Buckeye Valley 46
Dylan Herbert scored 16 points, Clark Newland had 14 and Austin Richard added 12 in Buckeye Valley’s MOAC loss to Ontario Saturday night (Dec. 16) in Delaware.
The Barons (1-5, 1-2) dropped their third straight game.
Chance Mott scored a game-high 21 points to lead Ontario (4-0, 3-0).
Westerville North 69, Olentangy 56
The Westerville North boys basketball team used a 24-4 run in the second half to come back from a nine-point deficit and take control en route to a 69-56 OCC win over host Olentangy Friday night (Dec. 15) in Lewis Center.
Braves coach John Feasel seemed to be writing a song after the game, going back to the familiar refrain, “We’ve gotta makes shots” at several points during his postgame comments.
While this game surely won’t be on his Greatest Hits album, it might be more fondly remembered by North’s Jeremiah Keene, Julius Brown and Phillip Alston as the trio combined for 50 points.
“We had good looks,” Feasel said. “We had about three possessions in a row where we ran what we wanted, got a wide-open look and you gotta make shots. In games like this … that’s three possessions in a row that could kill you.”
Keene hit two threes sandwiched around a J.J. Harvey three-pointer in a four-possession span that gave North (4-0, 2-0) control in the fourth quarter.
Meanwhile, Olentangy had trouble finding points. Sean Marks was held to four points in the second half after scoring 15 in the first half, including five during a 10-0 run to give Olentangy a 37-33 lead at the break.
“They doubled (Marks) and they pounded him … that’s just tough,” Feasel said. “We kind of played off him a little bit. So, we got some other people open off that. We’ve just gotta make shots. We’ve gotta loosen up stuff for him so it’s not so hard on Sean.”
Alex Sieve, who finished with 12 points, scored five points as Olentangy started the second half 7-2 for its largest lead of the game at 44-35 midway through the third quarter.
That’s when North made its move. Keene started the rally with a three-pointer and Harvey knocked down another in the final seconds of the third quarter to give North a 48-46 lead.
North’s lead got as high as 15 before Marks closed the game with a steal and score.
Keene had 21 points, Jeremiah Brown finished with 16 and Alston added 13 to lead North.
Jerred Kinnaird finished with 10 points for Olentangy (2-2, 0-2).
Also: Olentangy 74, Groveport-Madison 72 (OT)
Hayes 45, Davidson 37
Three sophomores — Nate Griggs, Paul Burris and Addison Harvey — combined for 30 points as the Delaware Hayes boys basketball team used a balanced attack to pick up a 45-37 non-league win over visiting Hilliard Davidson Tuesday in Delaware.
The Pacers (2-3) found themselves locked in a 4-4 tie after the first quarter, but outscored the Wildcats (1-3) 17-13 in the second and 16-9 in the third to create some separation.
“We had 10 guys play hard for 32 minutes,” Hayes coach Jordan Blackburn said. “We knew they were going to be bigger and stronger than us, and we had to match the physicality and stick together. They made a run and we responded by making eight straight free throws.
“I was most pleased with our guys not caring who gets the credit, just trying to do it right.”
Griggs led the way with 12 points to go with six assists while Burris and Harvey finished with nine apiece. Dominic Byers was also solid, pouring in eight points off the bench.
The Big Walnut Athletic Department provided information for this story.