Senior guard Nick Deitsch’s tip-in as overtime expired gave the Olentangy Orange High School boys basketball team a 46-45 win over New Albany in a Division I district semifinal March 6 at Pickerington North.
Deitsch’s basket came on the heels of a missed 3-pointer. The ball caromed off the backboard and fell to Deitsch, who tipped the ball up and in.
“We’d called a timeout with a minute to go, then another one with (19.8) seconds left and I had to yell our plan at the guys because it was so loud in here. We didn’t get the exact set we wanted, so we just kind of won on chaos at the end,” Orange coach Anthony Calo said. “Nick (who was held to six points) is a gritty player and teams have really tried to take him away. That’s been frustrating for him, but he’s aggressive and he got himself in the right spot.”
Orange improved to 15-9 and will play seventh-seeded Dublin Coffman or 10th-seeded Pickerington Central in a district final at noon March 9 at the Fairgrounds Coliseum. Orange, which opened in 2008, is seeking its first district championship.
Senior guard Brandon Blake had 14 points, senior forward Declan Feery added 12 and senior center Brady Harris had 10 for the 18th-seeded Pioneers.
New Albany senior guard Jalen Rhea, an American University signee, had a game-high 20 points. The fourth-seeded Eagles had defeated Orange in two OCC-Capital Division meetings during the regular season, winning 68-54 on Dec. 7 and 54-34 on Jan. 18. New Albany finished 22-3.
In the third meeting, Orange led 22-20 at halftime, and the game was tied at 33 after three quarters and 41 after regulation.