LEXINGTON — It’s not exactly a trip around the block going from southern Delaware County to Lexington, Ohio, but for the Olentangy girls basketball team, it proved a worthwhile venture.
The Braves battled with Lady Lex, as they are known, in the first half, but were able to put a little distance between themselves and the competition in the second half, closing with a 50-44 non-league victory over Lexington Saturday night at Lexington High School.
Olentangy (12-2) had enough offense to get the job done and played a solid defense to hold yet another opponent to their goal of 44 points or less.
“I thought we did a very good job,” Olentangy coach John Feasel said. “I told the girls after the game we have our little ‘44’ club, so we doubled our score and they only got the 44, They shot the ball pretty well in the first half against our zone, so we came out in man to man in the second half and I thought we did pretty well.”
Lexington (6-6), out of the Ohio Cardinal Conference, never gave in, especially in the first half, led by senior wing Alissa Munro, who had a game-high 18 points on the night with strong help from fellow seniors Jaci Rourke, Kate Hogsette, Taylor Whitaker and Brittany Glaser.
“They’re a good team,” Feasel said. “Rourke played a good game, Hogsette hit some open jumpers, and Whitaker’s tough to guard. I know (Lexington) coach (Daryl) Uhde pretty well, and he told me when they shoot the ball well they’re pretty good, and I thought they shot the ball pretty well tonight and played us pretty tough.”
Junior Brooke Zwayer, held to just four points in Friday’s lopsided win over Westerville North, was more like her normal self, scoring 10 points in the first half and finishing with a team-high 14 points in the game.
“Last night, we did what we needed to do to win the game, and that was to just let Brooke stay there and not score at let everyone else score,” Feasel said. “Tonight, I told her to go out there and play her game, and she did. She took good shots and got on a little roll. It was a good game for her.”
The Braves trailed by three early after a Munro three, but took the lead on buckets by Zwayer and junior Lydia Hyburg and did not give up the lead until the second quarter, when Lexington tied the game at 23 on a three ball by Rourke.
Two free throws from junior Megan Beidelman with 19 seconds left in the half would give the Braves a two-point lead at the break, but Lexington made an impression on Feasel.
The Braves came out in a man-to-man defense in the third quarter, and held Lady Lex scoreless for the first five minutes. Senior Nicole Payne had the job of defending Munro, and held her to seven points in the second half and two in the third quarter.
Olentangy outscored Lady Lex 12-9 in the third quarter and scored the first four points of the fourth to take a 41-32 lead with 5:47 to play.
“I challenged Nicole at the half,” Feasel said. “Munro had 11 at the half and I told her, ‘She’s going to Baldwin-Wallace and you’re going to another OAC school, and that’s the kind of girl you’re going to be playing the next four years, and she went out and guarded her in the second half. It was good to see the senior step up.”
Later in the fourth, Lexington rallied as Munro scored on a layup and a three-pointer to cut the lead to 44-39 with 1:15 left, but with Lady Lex forced to foul, the Braves went 6 of 7 from the foul line in the final 52 seconds to secure the win.
Zwayer added four rebounds to her 14 points, while Beidelman had 13 points and eight boards. Junior Katie Heath scored 11 points off the bench, while Payne hauled down a team-high nine rebounds to go with her six points. Hyburg had four points, four rebounds and a block, while senior Ronnie Kenley had two points and three blocks for the Braves.
Rourke and Hogsette added six points apiece for Lexington, while Whitaker and Theresa-Ann Jedra had five points each. Glaser added four points plus a game-high 11 rebounds for Lady Lex.
Buckeye Valley 63, London 50
The Barons picked up an impressive non-league win Saturday in Delaware, knocking off London to wrap up a perfect 3-0 week.
Taylor Hyatt had a big night for Buckeye Valley (6-8), missing just one shot on her way to a 19-point performance. Michaela Linn was also solid, notching a double-double with 21 points and 15 rebounds.
Delaware Christian 57, Gahanna Christian 55
Sarah Harp hit a baseline jumper in the game’s final minute, lifting the host Eagles to a thrilling win Saturday in Delaware.
The game was close throughout, with DCS holding a 13-12 lead after one and a 47-42 heading into th contest’s final 18 minutes of action.
In addition to Harp’s heroics, Haley Kirby had a big night, finishing with 23 points, while Brenna McCullough closed with 15 in the win.