BOYS H.S. BASKETBALL
Big Walnut 74, Centerburg 32
The Big Walnut boys basketball team scored 21 straight in the second quarter to run away with a 74-32 victory over Centerburg in non-league action Saturday night (Jan. 20) in Sunbury.
The win caps a 3-0 week for the Golden Eagles (7-6), who have won four of their last five games.
“It’s been a really good week,” BW coach Brett Bartlett said. “It’s a good feeling, but you can never be satisfied. Once you start winning – you just want to continue to win and want more. That’s what we talked about in the locker room.
“How did we get here? By working hard and playing together every single day in practice. We’re starting to see the benefits of that right now.”
The big week is especially important considering the Eagles are coming off back-to-back four-win seasons.
“We’re buying into (Coach Bartlett’s) system and it’s proving (with) the results,” senior post Donovan Pugh said. “We started off a little slow, but now with this run, we’re starting to go places. This team has potential.”
Brody Lawhun fed Sam Elliott for a basket underneath with about a minute left in the first quarter to break a 10-10 tie.
“We got off to a slow start, but I think we all came together and realized that we (had) to get our minds in the game,” Elliott said. “We moved the ball around really well and we just worked as a team really well and it clicked.”
Jordan Koebel finished the frame off with a pair of free throws to extend the lead to four.
Nathan Montgomery fed Carson Becker for a three to open up the second and Elliott stepped in front of a pass and took it for an easy layup to push the lead to 19-10 and the Eagles were off to the races.
Elliott scored all six of his points during the run.
“He gave us a spark and a little bit of toughness,” Bartlett said. “He played physical and brought some energy for us off the bench.”
Kegan Hienton scored eight of BW’s first 10 points before being forced to the bench with two fouls late in the first quarter.
Centerburg was particularly strong on the offensive glass, pulling down five boards to keep possessions alive.
Then, Pugh – 6-foot-7 in stature – stepped into the game and stepped up. He tallied all eight of his points in the second quarter and finished with eight rebounds to lead the team.
“Me with my size – I just tried to own the glass and help my team when I came in,” Pugh said. “I got a couple of points along the way where my teammates set me up well.”
“He stepped in and played some defense for us and rebounded the ball,” Bartlett said. “He’s worked at it and has earned his playing time. If he continues to produce like he is – he’s only going to see more playing time. He’s a great kid and we’re really happy for him.”
His size inside helped BW hold Centerburg to just three Hayden Hackinson free throws as the lead ballooned to 39-13 at the break.
Brody Lawhun’s and-one pushed it to 44-13 before Hackinson scored underneath to give the Trojans their first basket from the field in almost two full quarters.
Koebel knocked down two of his three three-pointers in the third quarter to finish with a team-high 11 points to go with five assists and four rebounds.
Tyler Shuster also buried three triples, including two in the fourth quarter to help the Eagles push the lead as high as 46.
Hienton and Carson Becker finished with 10 points apiece and Montgomery dished out five assists.
“(We’re) pretty well balanced and I think that’s a good thing,” Bartlett said. “Koebel led us tonight and Nathan Montgomery led us last night with 21 and he only had two tonight. But, he’s as happy as anyone because we won.”
Hackinson led with 12 points and Carter Jones chipped in seven, including all five as the Trojans (3-9) built a 5-0 lead early.
BW continues its non-league slate at Olentangy Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m.
“We’re on a 3-0 roll right now and we’re going into Olentangy,” Elliott said. “We think we can compete with them and we’re ready to roll.”
Big Walnut 62, Groveport 51
Kegan Hienton poured in a game-high 20 points, Brody Lawhun added 15 and Nathan Montgomery chipped in 12 to lead the Golden Eagles to an OCC win over the visiting Cruisers Tuesday night (Jan. 16) in Sunbury.
Big Walnut was in control from start to finish, parlaying a 12-5 first-quarter lead into the double-digit win.
Big Walnut 60, Canal Winchester 55
The Golden Eagles used a solid middle two quarters to get the job done Friday (Jan. 19), outscoring the visiting Indians 15-11 in the second and 15-13 in the third to build a lead they parlayed into an OCC win.
Nathan Montgomery had a big night from the stripe, making 15 of his 20 free throws on the way to a game-best 21 points. BW’s Brody Lawhun and Sam Elliott also finished in double figures, closing with respective point totals of 16 and 10.
Liberty 63, New Albany 38
The Olentangy Liberty boys basketball team got back on track in a big way, snapping a two-game skid with a convincing 63-38 non-league win over visiting New Albany Tuesday night (Jan. 16) in Powell.
With the score tied at 12 after one, the Patriots pulled away in a hurry. They outscored the Eagles 17-10 in the second quarter, 19-7 in the third and 15-9 in the fourth to account for the final margin.
Ben Roderick led all scorers with 19 points. Liberty’s Nick Nakasian and Mitch Kershner also scored in double figures, finishing with 15 and 11 points, respectively.
Jalin Jackson led New Albany with 12 points.
Liberty 67, Orange 60
As was the case in its league-opening loss at Olentangy Orange earlier this season, the Olentangy Liberty boys basketball team didn’t get off to the best start during Friday’s (Jan. 19) rematch in Powell.
Fortunately for the Patriots, basketball is a four-quarter game.
Liberty trailed 15-11 after the first quarter, but, thanks to an 11-2 run midway through the second and another solid surge in the third, never trailed again en route to a 67-60 win.
Jalen Bethel scored down low to give the Pioneers a 20-17 second-quarter edge, but that’s when the Patriots made their move.
Mitchell Okuley scored to cut the deficit to one and Ben Roderick converted a three-point play to flip the scoreboard in Liberty’s favor before drilling a three-pointer on his team’s next trip down the floor to make it a 25-20 game.
Orange’s Bryson Lane made a floater to stop the bleeding a bit, but Nick Nakasian answered with a three-point play to balloon Liberty’s advantage to 28-22.
The Pioneers bounced back, making it a 28-26 game by halftime thanks to a pair of Bethel free throws and a Matt McCollum runner, but they never quite recovered.
Roderick, who finished with a game-high 28 points in the win, scored five quick ones to spark Liberty in the third, a quarter the Patriots won 21-11.
Orange won the fourth 23-18 to smooth out the scoring summary.
Nakasian backed Roderick with 10 points, Mitch Kershner added nine and Okuley chipped in six in the win.
The Pioneers were led by Lane’s 21 points while Bethel and McCollum finished with 19 and 12, respectively.
Westerville South 80, Olentangy 65
Defense and turnovers hurt the Braves as the visiting Wildcats used a pair of big quarters — a 31-point second and 26-point fourth — to notch an OCC win Friday (Jan. 19) in Lewis Center.
Olentangy led 11-8 before being outscored 31-13 in the second.
Sean Marks led the Braves with 20 points while Christian Browning poured in a career-high 12 points in the loss.
Hilliard Darby 36, Delaware Hayes 35
Ben Gbur scored off a feed from half-court with three seconds left to lift the host Panthers to an OCC win over the Pacers Friday (Jan. 19) in Hilliard.
Gbur finished with a team-best 11 points for Darby.
Nate Griggs led Hayes. He finished with 18 points on the strength of a 9-for-10 effort at the free throw line.
Also: Westerville North 68, Olentangy Orange 61; Buckeye Valley 72, Galion 53.
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichnotwealthy or contract him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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