Hayes didn’t get off to the start it would have liked, partly due to a solid Orange effort, but closed the way it’s accustomed to en route to a 57-37 OCC-Capital Division win Friday in Lewis Center.
“Early on we weren’t in the flow offensively like we like to be,” Delaware coach Jordan Blackburn said. “But as the game went on our defensive pressure and the way we shared the ball on the offensive end made the difference.”
The Pacers (4-2, 2-2 OCC) had trouble pulling away from the Pioneers in the first half, leading just 11-7 after the first quarter and 21-17 at the break. Halftime was the turning point, though, as Hayes outscored the hosts 17-12 in the third and 19-8 in the fourth to account for the final margin. The Pacers used 11 straight stops on the defensive end — a stretch spanning the final four minutes of the third quarter — to give themselves a 38-29 cushion heading into the final frame.
“At halftime we just talked about doing the little things … like we do everyday,” Blackburn said. “And I thought it was well received. On defense we talked about getting stops, and the guys executed. Offensively, Khalil (Iverson), who was double-teamed in the post, made some game-changing passes; Tyler (Treese), a guy who only cares about winning, made some passes in situations he probably could have taken a shot; and guys like Ralph (Jamison Lahman) and Gator (Gaige Linville) did an amazing job making the extra pass and getting to loose balls.”
Treese, Iverson and Alex Stevens led the Pacers with 12 points each, with Iverson adding nine assists to go with his points. Jay Joseph and Colin Shepherd paced the Pioneers with 11 and eight points, respectively.
•Olentangy played well in the middle two quarters, but host New Albany owned the first and fourth on the way to a 61-51 OCC-Capital Division win Friday night.
The Braves (2-2, 1-1 OCC) outscored the Eagles 16-9 in the second, but still trailed at halftime due to the host’s 15-5 first-quarter spree. Olentangy kept things close by winning the third 15-13, but New Albany used a 24-15 finished to seal the deal.
Jimmy Gundling led the Braves with 20 points in the loss.
•Big Walnut started with a surge, but host Mount Vernon stole the momentum in the second period, turning a 17-7 second-quarter run into a lead it parlayed into a 60-49 OCC-Capital Division win Friday night.
The Golden Eagles led 13-7 after the first, but trailed 24-20 at the break thanks to the big Yellow Jacket run. They never recovered.
Nick Herbert and Zac Asher led Big Walnut in the setback, finishing with 12 and 11 points, respectively.
•Ben Evans poured in 21 points, but they weren’t enough as host Patriot Academy withstood a late Delaware Christian run to nab a 53-50 win Friday night.
The Eagles (1-5) finished with a flurry, outscoring the hosts 16-8 in the fourth only to see the rally fall just short.