January 14, 2012
Dan Patrick could be talking about Hayes junior point guard Michael Wells when he says, “You can’t stop him. You can only hope to contain him.”
Friday night at Hayes High School the Orange Pioneers did just that, allowing Wells 10 points in the final quarter, but rallying from six points down with four minutes to play for a 52-51 Ohio Capital Conference Capital Division victory over the host Pacers.
Stretch time was important. Orange (8-2, 6-1 OCC Capital) used an 11-2 run in a span of just over two and a half minutes to turn what was a 47-41 Hayes (7-5, 4-3) lead into a 52-49 Pioneer advantage.
“The important thing is we didn’t panic,” Orange coach John Betz said. “We told them, ‘Believe in what we do. We’re going to make some shots and we’re going to get some stops.’ There were a lot of loose balls that they came up with at the end, so give them credit. We’ve got to play a little harder at the end, but we’re proud of our guys.”
“We got the ball to the guys we wanted in places they could score down the stretch, but we didn’t make shots,” Hayes coach Jordan Blackburn said. “I was thrilled with the effort, I thought our toughness was great, we got more loose balls and outrebounded them. Our kids played very hard, and we played right with one of the best teams in Central Ohio and had a chance to win.”
The game was tight all the way through, with Orange holding a three-point lead after one that was cut to two at the half and to one after three quarters.
But in the fourth, the Pacers ran off 12 of the first 17 points of the quarter, with Wells scoring eight of them, and Hayes took a 47-41 lead with 4:51 to play in the game. Wells and senior veterans Jacob Bosiokovic and Zack Parsons were leaders all the way through, combining for 41 of the team’s 51 points, Bosiokovic scoring 16 points, Wells 14 and Parsons 11 on the night.
“The fact he, Jacob and Zack never stop is a message that resonates with our kids,” Blackburn said. “The fact is those three returning lettermen played extremely hard and played like winners, and they gave us a chance to win the game.”
“They’re not dumb over there,” Betz said. “Michael Wells is probably the player of the year. He’s scooty — he can get into some spaces and transition. If he gets it going, he can flat out hurt you. I thought (senior guard) Matt Kurelic did a good job on him, but honestly, you’re not going to stop him.”
But with just over three and a half minutes left, Orange started its own run when senior Blake Hoskins stole the ball and passed to Kurelic for a transition layup. Junior Nick Deitsch, a disruptive force all game long, hit two free throws after that.
Following a Hayes fast break bucket off the inbound from freshman Khalil Iverson to Parsons, Deitsch found senior Andy Bosley for a three-pointer then hit one of two free tosses with 1:31 left to tie the game a 49-all.
“Nick was 0 for 9 from the floor, but down the stretch there were some big plays where he got his hands on the ball or got a tip or hit a free throw,” Betz said. “Give him credit. That’s what gets the other guys going, too, and that’s what we try to stress; worry about the whole line — rebounds, free throws, deflections — not just the points.”
Junior post Declan Feery also divided a pair of charity tosses to give Orange a 50-49 edge, and Wells slipped in the lane, allowing Hoskins to take the ball down court for a layup that gave Orange its 52-49 lead with 57 seconds left.
Wells hit a jumper with 39 seconds to play to cut the Pacer deficit to one, then got another chance when Hoskins missed the first free throw of a one-and-one opportunity with 21 seconds left.
Wells drove to just outside the foul line on the right side of the lane, but the shot rimmed off, and the ball ended up in Hoskins’ hands after a mad scramble with two seconds left. Hayes fouled with one second to play, but after Kurelic missed the front end of his one-and-one, the ball fell to the floor untouched as the horn sounded.
“Down the stretch and down one, we have the best player in Central Ohio to take an elbow jumper from a spot everyone in the gym probably thought he’d almost never miss from,” Blackburn said. “I told Michael after the game it wouldn’t be the last time he had a chance for a game-winner and to keep his head up, because good times are coming.”
Bosley topped all scorers with 19 points for Orange, Hoskins adding 13, Kurelic 10 and Feery five. Deitsch had just three points on the night, all in the final quarter, and junior Tyler Dillard closed with two for the Pioneers.
“We like our guys, and we tell them we’re going to need everyone down the stretch,” Betz said. “We haven’t played our best, but if we keep playing well, we’ll be able to play in March.”
Iverson added four points to a solid Pacer effort, while Jante Wright, Griffin Kinney and Gaige Linville had two points apiece.
“Our jobs as coaches and our kids’ jobs as players is to do everything we can to put ourselves in a position to win,” Blackburn said. “We had that tonight. We just ran out of time.”
Westerville South 54, OT
The Patriots stayed perfect Friday, earning a spot all alone atop the OCC-Cardinal Division with a clutch win over the visiting Wildcats.
The game was back and fourth from start to finish. South (10-2) grabbed the early 15-12 advantage by the end of the first quarter, but Liberty (12-0) evened the game at the break with an 11-8 run in the second. The Wildcats broke things open in the third, but, down by as many as 11 at one point in the final frame, the Patriots hit just enough pressure-packed shots to send the game into overtime, where they allowed just four points while scoring five to nail down the win.
Nick Archer was a force in the paint, pouring in 26 points while Jake Bischoff and Alec Charbonneau closed with seven each.
Big Walnut 38,
Franklin Heights 37
Down 19-14 at halftime, the Golden Eagles used a big third quarter, outscoring the host Falcons 14-9, to nail down an OCC-Capital Division win Friday at Franklin Heights High School.
Grant Beam led Big Walnut (4-6) with 14 points while Adam Shaheen closed with eight and Seth Wandling six in the win.
Westerville North 71,
The Braves finished with a flurry, outscoring the visiting Warriors 22-12 in the final frame, but dug themselves too big a hole to climb out of Friday in Lewis Center.
Olentangy (6-6) was down 20-15 by the end of the first quarter, 40-25 at halftime and 59-39 by the end of three.
Three Braves scored in double figures, with Jordan Gingery closing with 18, Seth Clark with 15 and Stephen Walczak with 14 in the setback.