In a defensive affair, the Pickerington High Shool North girls basketball team defeated visiting Gahanna 45-33 in OCC-Ohio Division play Tuesday.

In a defensive affair, the Pickerington High Shool North girls basketball team defeated visiting Gahanna 45-33 in OCC-Ohio Division play Tuesday. The Lions shot only 35 percent from the field. "That's what we're known for is defense," said guard Nicole Olszewski, who paced the Panthers with13 points. "That's what we do best and what we stress in practice."

North improved to 5-1 overall and 4-1 in the OCC-Ohio as Gahanna fell to 4-2 and 2-2.

"You can't lose at home in this conference. You have to win at home and battle on the road," North coach Dave Butcher said.

The Panthers took a 32-18 lead into the fourth quarter with tenacious defense and the shooting of Olszewski and guard Brittney Callahan, who hit two 3-point shots in the first half and finished with 10 points. Center Jenn Rennell also played a key role, scoring eight points.

"We were able to get to our spots and spread the floor out, allowing me to penetrate the defense inside, which is what I do best," Olzewski said. "My teammates were also hitting their shots, which helped me get some open looks."

The Lions awoke in the fourth quarter, going on a 13-4 run to cut the deficit to 36-31 with three minutes to play.

"Tiyona (Marshall, a sophomore guard) spearheaded our run in the fourth quarter," Gahanna Head Coach Rick Hauser said. "Our kids adjusted well and got into a rhythm in the second half, but it was a little too late."

Marshall finished with a team-high 16 points.

"When you let a well coached team like Gahanna stay in the game, comebacks like that happen," said Butcher, whose team made 17 of 23 free throws. "We should of put the game away earlier. Consistency and finishing out games is what we'll work on going ahead."