Liberty used a huge first half to set the tone, rolling past visiting Hilliard Davidson 72-52 in OCC-Central Division action Tuesday in Powell.
The Patriots (12-8, 9-3 OCC) were on fire from the onset, pouring in 29 first-quarter points to take a 29-12 lead after eight minutes of action. They didn’t cool off much in the second, either, outscoring the Wildcats 19-12 to cruise into the half up 48-24.
Davidson (5-14, 3-9) used a 22-8 third-quarter run to close the gap a bit, but Liberty smoothed out the scoring summary with a 16-6 fourth.
Mike DeLeon had his way in the win, scoring a game-best 32 points, Brad Smith finished with 18 and Law Jones 11.
•Hayes didn’t get off to the best start, but coupled a balanced offensive attack and steady defensive showing to dominate visiting Mount Vernon after a sluggish first quarter and roll to a 63-47 OCC-Capital Division win Tuesday in Delaware.
The Pacers (15-3, 8-3 OCC), who picked up their eighth straight win, trailed 12-7 after the first quarter, but cruised the rest of the way, outscoring the Yellow Jackets (7-12, 4-8) 21-13 in the second, 17-13 in the third and 18-9 in the fourth.
“I think we came out in the second quarter and executed,” Hayes coach Jordan Blackburn said. “We worked the ball inside out against the zone and the guys did a good job attacking gaps. They shared the ball well, too, assisting on 18 of our 23 field goals.”
The catalyst for the pass-happy Pacers was none other than Khalil Iverson, the team’s leading scorer. He was double-teamed in the post much of the night, but still managed to key the offense with a game-leading eight assists to go with his 14 points and 12 rebounds.
Other Hayes standouts included Tyler Treese, who finished with 14 points and three rebounds; Noble Moore, who had 12 points on the strength of four three-pointers; and Phil Frentsos, who closed with nine points in the win.
“It was a total team effort,” Blackburn said. “One of the things I like most about this team is the fact you never know, not even us coaches know, who will step up. It could be anyone … and that’s been one of the keys to this winning streak we are on.”
•Buckeye Valley gave visiting River Valley all it could handle, but fell a few hoops short of completing the comeback during a 52-47 Mid-Ohio Athletic Conference setback Tuesday in Delaware.
The first quarter, a frame in which the Vikings outscored the Barons 16-11, proved to be the difference. The rest of the game, as the final spread would suggest, was as tight as they come. River Valley (11-3, 6-2 MOAC) outscored Buckeye Valley (8-9, 5-6) 10-9 in the second, both teams scored 12 points in the third and BV won the fourth by a 15-14 margin.
Jesse Tomlinson and Mitch Rotondo led the Barons, scoring 17 and 11 points respectively. Rotondo also led the team in rebounding, closing with eight.
•Big Walnut used a solid second quarter to take a halftime lead, but host New Albany turned the tables after the break en route to a hard-fought 31-28 OCC-Capital Division win Tuesday night.
The Golden Eagles (8-10, 3-8 OCC) used lock-down defense to outscore the Eagles (9-7, 8-2) 7-2 in the second quarter, but managed just 11 second-half points.
Logan Boyd led BW with seven points while Zac Asher finished with six in the setback.
•Orange played solid defense most of the night, but never really got on track on the offensive end during Tuesday’s 44-35 OCC-Capital Division setback at the hand of host Franklin Heights.
The Pioneers (3-14, 3-8 OCC) led 10-9 after a competitive first quarter, but saw the Falcons (10-8, 6-5) outscore them in each of the final three, 12-9 in the second, 11-7 in the third and 12-9 in the fourth.
Jay Joseph and Colin Shepherd finished in double figures for Orange, scoring 12 and 10 points, respectively.
•Olentangy played plenty of solid basketball, but two bad stretches hurt the Braves during Tuesday’s 58-47 OCC-Capital Division setback at Worthington Kilbourne.
The Braves (7-10, 4-7) jumped out to a 17-11 lead after the first quarter, but the Wolves (12-7, 8-3) opened the second with a 10-0 run to take a lead by the break. Olentangy kept things close early in the second half, but Kilbourne took control with its second big spurt of the game, closing the third with an 11-0 spree.
Seth O’Neal led the Braves with 15 points while Jimmy Gundling finished with 12 in the loss.