Despite a 4-2 start, Delaware Hayes High School girls basketball coach Erin Margraf is concerned that the Pacers haven't shown consistency.

Despite a 4-2 start, Delaware Hayes High School girls basketball coach Erin Margraf is concerned that the Pacers haven't shown consistency.

"We have games where one or maybe two girls play well, but we haven't gotten to the point where we get three great individual games combined with three or four other players stepping in to have good games," she said last Tuesday after the Pacers lost to Big Walnut 59-50 to drop to 3-2 in the OCC-Capital Division. "We're getting to the point in the season that we need to put it all together."

Senior Caroline Welker has been the one constant this season. She led the Pacers against Big Walnut with 17 points, including four 3-pointers, nine rebounds, three steals and a blocked shot. Corsica Barber had 11 points and six rebounds and Cindy Bowman added 10 points.

"It was nice to get three in double figures finally, but unfortunately they didn't get enough help," Margraf said. "We also made progress in terms of rebounding, but we gave up way too many easy baskets and a lot of that was not handling the press well. We ran our half-court offense well, but the turnovers came against the press. There again, it's the inconsistency. We improve in one part of the game and regress in another."

Delaware had 12 of its 22 turnovers in the first quarter, during which it went 0-for-4 from the free-throw line. The Pacers finished 8-for-19 from the line.

"We had chances, even after we were outscored 16-9 in the third quarter and trailed 46-34," Margraf said. "We didn't play well defensively and we didn't locate Tabatha Piper in our zone defense. She hurt us and finished with 25 points. Once we started playing her tight, she was able to drive, get fouled and make her free throws."

It was a tough home loss because Margraf thinks her team is talented enough to contend in the league.

"(Olentangy) Orange is playing well and has no weaknesses," Margraf said. "They have the full package of inside and outside players. But I think a number of other teams - New Albany, Hilliard Bradley and Big Walnut - are like us. They have strengths, but also have an area that if you can attack, you could have success."

Delaware, which beat Watkins Memorial 49-42 on Dec. 17, will play Tuesday at Marysville and Thursday at home against Lancaster before returning to league play in 2011. The Pacers will play Jan. 5 at Bradley and Jan. 7 at New Albany.

Against Watkins Memorial, Welker had 20 points, six rebounds and four steals. Barber added nine points and seven rebounds.

•The boys basketball team is 6-1 overall entering the Larry Eberst Classic, in which it will play host Olentangy Liberty at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

The third-year event, originally the Delaware County Shootout, was renamed after longtime Pacers coach Larry Eberst died in a small aircraft crash on July 14, 2009. Host Delaware lost to Liberty 56-49 in last year's event after getting outscored 31-22 in the second half.

"We wanted to play well in his memory last year, but everything was so emotional and most of our kids started the game with tears in their eyes," coach Jordan Blackburn said. "We want to honor him by playing good, fundamental basketball. It's important for us to remember and honor him, and I think we'll be more focused and more prepared to do that this time."

The Pacers defeated host Big Walnut 63-34 last Tuesday to improve to 3-1 in the OCC-Capital.

Junior Matt Bingaya made three 3-pointers en route to 29 points. He also had 12 rebounds, five assists and eight steals. Sophomore Mike Wells added 14 points and four assists, and Braxton Coleman supplied six points and six rebounds.

The Pacers harassed Big Walnut into 13-for-40 shooting from the field as they won their fourth consecutive game, including a 78-53 decision over Reynoldsburg on Dec. 18. In that game, Wells scored 25 points, Bingaya had 24 and Coleman added 14. The Pacers were 29-for-43 from the floor and 18-for-20 from the free-throw line.

Bingaya is averaging 23.8 points per game.

•The boys and girls swimming and diving teams will put in extra work over the holidays.

The teams usually practice from 5:15-7 a.m. on school days at Ohio Wesleyan's Meek Aquatic Center. But with Ohio Wesleyan also on break, the Pacers get more pool time.

"We either will go from 7 to 10 a.m. or from 9 a.m. to noon, then the first week of January we'll get the pool from 3 to 6 p.m.," coach Bill Rietz said. "We nearly double our practice time and we nearly double our yardage in addition to working on specific spring sessions. The kids have more focus because in the back of their minds, they know they're not going to class right after practice. The extra work is like we're making our deposit in a bank and we'll be ready to make a withdrawal in February during the postseason."

On Monday, the Pacers will have practice, go home for lunch and return later to compete in the Watterson Holiday Relays at Thomas Worthington.

They will play host to Worthington Kilbourne on Jan. 5 and play host to the 39th annual Delaware Invitational on Jan. 7. Also competing in the event will be Bradley, Hilliard Darby, Hilliard Davidson, North Robinson Colonel Crawford and Watterson.

Last Tuesday in the Delaware County Classic, the girls 200-yard medley relay team of Jessica Ward, Brittany Puthoff, Lindsey Norris and Regan DeWitt won in a meet-, pool- and school-record 1 minute, 52.8 seconds, lowering the 1:53.52 mark they set in the opener Dec. 3. Ward also set a meet record in the 100 butterfly (1:00.54), and DeWitt established a meet record of 1:01.90 in the 100 backstroke.

The girls finished third (330 points) in the seven-team event as Olentangy Liberty (506) won. The Delaware boys were third (382) as Liberty (450) won.