One bad quarter can spoil what would otherwise be a close game. Such was the case Friday night.
The Orange Pioneers played even with the Hayes Pacers in three of the four periods, but the Pacers outscored Orange 14-4 in the second and finished with a 39-29 Ohio Capital Conference Capital Division win in the first game of a boys-girls doubleheader at Hayes High School.
Hayes (14-3, 7-3 OCC Capital) trailed three times in the first quarter and was down 6-5 after one, but hit its shots in the second while holding Orange (3-13, 3-7) without a field goal in the period. The Pioneers were 0 of 6 from the floor and had four turnovers, getting all four of their points from the line.
Orange clawed back to within four points, 21-17, five minutes into the second half, but the Pacers used a 7-1 run the rest of the way to take a 10-point lead after three quarters, then scored the first six points of the fourth to bump the advantage to 16 points, 34-18, with five and a half minutes left in the game.
Orange would chip the lead back to 12 with buckets on consecutive possessions, but Hayes scored the next four on two free throws and a basket to push the advantage back to 16 with just under two minutes to go. The Pioneers went on a 7-0 run to end the game, but the deficit proved too great.
“Our game plan coming in was to pound the ball into the paint off passes and penetration, and control the game on the defensive end,” Hayes coach Jordan Blackburn said. “I thought we won the game on the defensive end with communication and effort. On the flip side, I wasn’t pleased that they finished the game on a 7-0 run as we made some ill-advised passes.
“I thought Orange played hard and did some good things,” he added. “They’ll keep getting better.”
Khalil Iverson topped all scorers and rebounders with 16 points and 14 boards for the Pacers. Phil Frentsos, Tyler Treese and Jordan Hecker added four points each, Frentsos adding three rebounds, while Noble Moore, Gaige Linville and Hayden Dunlap added three points each, Linville hauling down four boards and adding a game-high three assists.
Jay Joseph topped the Orange scoring with 10 points while Will Phillis added eight points and a team-high seven rebounds, including all five Pioneer caroms in the fourth quarter. Grant Gossard added four points, and Haydn Audsley, Chase Mosher and Colin Shepherd had two points each, Shepherd also pulling down five rebounds for the Pioneers.