Orange, Newark beats BW boys

By Ben Stroup -

Olentangy Orange 57, Big Walnut 34

Jalen Bethel finished with 20 points and Luke Ballinger added 14 as the Pioneers got back to their winning ways Tuesday (Dec. 19) in Sunbury.

Orange (6-1), coming off its first loss of the season Friday night (Dec. 15), outscored Big Walnut (3-3) 14-9 in the first quarter and 15-7 in the second to build a cushion it only added to as the night wore on.

Kegan Hienton led BW with 12 points in the setback.

Liberty 71, Marysville 57

Ben Roderick poured in a game-best 29 points while Mitch Kershner and Nick Nakasian added 17 and 13, respectively, to lead the Olentangy Liberty boys basketball team to a 71-57 non-league win over visiting Marysville Tuesday night (Dec. 19) in Powell.

The Patriots (2-2) outscored the Monarchs (4-2) 23-12 in the second quarter to take control of what was a tie game after one.

Roderick made 11 of his 12 free throws to pad his point total while Kershner connected on a team-best three three-pointers.

Jack Christian hit four threes on the way to 17 points to lead Marysville.

Liberty returns to action Friday (Dec. 22) against host Westerville North.

Delaware Hayes 46, Thomas Worthington 44

Nate Griggs finished with a career-best 28 points, including a pair of pressure-packed free throws with 10.7 seconds left to lift the Pacers to a thrilling league win Tuesday (Dec. 19) in Worthington.

“Nate is a really tough kid,” Hayes coach Jordan Blackburn said. “He’s quiet and polite, but he’s got an edge to him. I wouldn’t trade him for any point guard around. He’s a team-first guy and a winner.

“He had a rough night on Friday (Dec. 15), but he did what tough people do … get off the deck and bounce back. He was outstanding tonight.”

Thomas (1-4, 0-3) hit a three-pointer to take a 43-42 lead with 1:17 left, but Griggs responded with a pair from the charity stripe to get his team back on top.

Eugene Block made the front end of a one-and-one to even things at 44 and set up Griggs’ game-winning tosses. Hayes (3-4, 2-1) guards Tracey Sumner and Ryan Smudz then forced a turnover at mid-court to seal the deal.

Griggs made nine of his 10 free throws en route to the big scoring night. Terin Kinsway was also solid for the Pacers, finishing with a double-double (12 points and 14 rebounds), and Paul Burris added six points.

Newark 63, Big Walnut 39

Already up 33-21 heading into the quarter, the host Wildcats outscored the Golden Eagles 21-7 in the third to roll to an OCC-Capital Division win Friday (Dec. 22) in Newark.

Big Walnut (3-4, 1-2) outscored Newark (3-2, 3-0) 11-9 in the fourth to smooth out the scoring summary.

Jordan Koebel led the Eagles with 14 points in the setback.

Newark’s JT Shumate led all scorers with 23 points.

Liberty 63, Westerville North 57

Down 36-35 with a quarter to play, the Olentangy Liberty boys basketball team kicked it into gear.

The Patriots outscored host Westerville North 28-21 in the final frame to notch a key 63-57 league win Friday night (Dec. 22) in Westerville.

The win creates a four-way tie atop the OCC-Buckeye Division standings. Liberty, which improved to 3-2 overall, along with North, Olentangy Orange and Westerville Central, are all 2-1 in league play.

Three Patriots finished in double figures. Ben Roderick led the way with 20 points while Nick Nakasian and Mitchell Okuley finished with 17 and 12, respectively.

Jeremiah Keene led the Warriors with 18 in the loss.

Delaware Hayes 52, Worthington Kilbourne 48

The Pacers started strong and held on late en route to a league win over the host Wolves Friday night, Dec. 22.

Delaware Hayes (4-4, 3-1) outscored Worthington Kilbourne (1-5, 1-3) in each of the first two quarters — 14-9 in the first and 12-9 in the second — to build a bit of a cushion by the break.

The Wolves got to within two late, but Addison Harvey calmly knocked down a pair of clutch free throws to balloon the Pacer advantage to four points with 14 seconds left.

Hayes had just one player score more than six points, but Terin Kinsway made sure that was enough. The junior, who made eight of his nine free throws, finished with a game-best 26 points and 19 rebounds in the win. Nate Griggs and Harvey, meanwhile, chipped in six apiece.

Gavin Baker and Zach Wilson led the Wolves with 13 points each.

Westerville Central 68, Olentangy 57

Sean Marks and Jerred Kinnaird poured in 19 points apiece, but it wasn’t quite enough as the host Warhawks got a game-high 25 from Thomas Hickman on the way to a league win Friday (Dec. 22) in Westerville.

Olentangy (3-3, 0-3) outscored Westerville Central (5-1, 2-1) 10-7 in the second to slice a six-point deficit to just three by halftime, but the Warhawks added to their edge in each of the final two quarters to cement the win.

Olentangy Orange 57, Westerville South 54

The Pioneers started well, outscoring the Wildcats 29-24 in the first half, and hit their free throws down the stretch to earn a solid OCC win Friday night (Dec. 22) in Lewis Center.

Bryson Lane, who hit a pair of huge free throws to put his team on top by six with 30 seconds to go, led Orange (7-1, 2-1) with 15 points.

Jordan McMillian led South (4-2, 1-2) with 20 points.

North Union 68, Delaware Christian 34

The Eagles never quite found their shooting touch during Friday’s (Dec. 22) non-league loss to the visiting Wildcats.

DCS (1-6), already down 48-21 at the break, scored just four points in the third.

Ryan Manny led the Eagles with nine points while Isaac Rindfuss finished with eight.

By Ben Stroup