Delaware’s long range accuracy downs BW boys, 50-39
By GARY HENERY
News Managing Editor
DELAWARE — The Pacers played long ball …
Delaware Hayes, connecting on six of nine 3-point attempts in the second half, pulled away from a 21–18 halftime lead to hand Big Walnut a 50–39 Ohio Capital Conference Capital Division setback last Friday night on the Pacers’ home hardwood.
Clinging to a 21–20 lead early in the third quarter, Jordan Blackburn’s Pacers went on a 14–3 run, a run highlighted by a pair of treys from 5-foot-8 senior guard Mike Wells and 6–2 sophomore guard Noble Moore to open up a 12-point, 35–23 lead on Wells’ three with 2:09 left in the period.
Wells, who led all scorers with 25 points, drilled one of his six treys with 31 seconds left in the third quarter to send Delaware Hayes (4–1, 2–1 OCC) into the final period with a 13-point, 38–25 lead.
“We did a better job of finding the open man and getting good shots in the second half,” Blackburn said. “We were trying to force the ball In the second quarter and, as a result, we turned the ball over and Big Walnut took full advantage to get back in the game.”
Big Walnut (2–3, 0–2 OCC) battled back to open the final period with three treys, two by 6–1 senior Zach Laughman and one by 6–6 senior Adam Shaheen, to close to within seven of the lead at 41–34 on back-to-back treys by Laughman with 3:39 to play. But that was as close as it would get for the Golden Eagles as Wells and Moore canned consecutive three-pointers to put the game out of reach with a 49–36 advantage with 1:17 remaining.
“We battled back after a slow start against a good Delaware team,” Big Walnut head coach Eric Myers said after watching his club fall behind 11–0 in the opening three minutes of the game. “We tightened up our defense in the second quarter and got back in the game, but we were unable to close it out.”
The Golden Eagles, who trailed 19–11 after the first period, held the Pacers to just a Gaige Linville field goal in the second quarter while scoring all 7 of their points on six Hayes turnovers to go into the intermission down by only three, 21–18.
Hayes, hitting 7 of its first 12 shots, including 4 of 5 threes, jumped out to the early lead behind the scoring of 6–6 junior Alex Stevens and Wells who combined to scorer 12 of the Pacers’ 19 points.
“We got off to a solid start, but Big Walnut’s zone defenses took us out of our game plan in the second quarter,” Blackburn said. “That’s what we talked about at halftime and we came out an did a better job moving the ball in the second half.”
“We are continuing to make progress,” Myers said. “With more minutes under our belts we are becoming more consistent as a team … it will take time, but we are getting there.”
Hayes shot 46.2 percent (18-for-39) for the game, including 10-for-16 (62.5 percent) from 3-point range. The Pacers converted 4 of 7 free throws. Moore backed Wells with 9 points on three treys while Jante Wright and Griffin Kinney added 5 points apiece.
Shaheen led Big Walnut with 21 points while Laughman followed in double figures with 12. The Golden Eagles made good on only 12 of 46 field goal tries (26.1 percent). They were 5-for-15 (33.3 percent) from behind the arc. At the line, the Golden Eagles converted 10 of 17 tries.
Hayes, led by Kinney’s 9 boards, claimed a 33–31 advantage on the boards, Shaheen led BW off the glass with 11 boards. The Golden Eagles committed only 8 turnovers in their 49 possessions, losing 10 points, while the Pacers turned the ball over 11 times in 48 possessions, losing 17 points.
BIG WALNUT 67, LICKING VALLEY 54 — The Golden Eagles came out with a chip on their shoulder …
Big Walnut (2–2) raced out to a 13–4 first –quarter lead before erupting for 23 points in the second period en route to a 20-point, 36–16 halftime lead in last Tuesday’s (December 11) non-conference decision over the visiting Panthers of Licking Valley
“We picked it up a notch as a team and came out ready to play offensively … with a chip on our shoulders,” Golden Eagle second-year head coach Eric Myers said.
Zach Laughman and Adams Shaheen fueled the Big Walnut offense, combining for 37 points. The 6-foot-1 Laughman led all scorers with 19 points while the 6–6 Shaheen put 18 points on the board. Nick Herbert and Jeremy Bok chipped in with 8 points apiece.
Winless Licking Valley (0–5), which came back out to dominate the third quarter, outscoring the Golden Eagles 18–11 in the period to close within 13 of the lead at 47–34 going into the final quarter. Both quintets put 20 points in the book over the final eight minutes.
Scott Morris paced the Panthers with 18 points. Drew McArtor followed with 8 points.