The Delaware Hayes High School girls basketball team snapped a 29-game league losing streak when it defeated host Dublin Jerome 54-46 on Jan. 9.
The Pacers' previous league win was on Feb. 5, 2015, when they topped Franklin Heights 48-25 in OCC-Capital Division play.
"The girls really enjoyed it," said first-year coach Lou Tiberi, whose team improved to 1-5 in the OCC-Cardinal and was 6-6 overall before playing Walnut Ridge on Jan. 13. "We played our best game of the season in terms of mentality, aggressiveness, executing the game plan and shooting free throws.
"We attacked off the dribble and got them in foul trouble. We made 13 of 15 free throws in the fourth quarter and finished 18-for-22 (81.8 percent) and we were only making 60 to 65 percent on the season."
Junior Piper Adkins scored 13 points and freshman Jordan Lantz had 12 points and nine rebounds.
Lantz, a 6-foot-2 center, was leading the Pacers in scoring (10.6 points per game) and rebounding (8.7) through 12 games.
"We often have three freshmen on the floor and sometimes we have four," Tiberi said. "Jordan's averages have dipped a bit because of her health. She was averaging a double-double, but her minutes have decreased."
Lantz has bursitis in her right hip and doctors have told her only rest will help.
"Because of my height, I've had knee problems and I fractured my right knee cap during the summer," Lantz said.
"As far as my hip, the doctor said I can't hurt it worse, so it's just a matter of my pain tolerance. But I'm going to play as hard as I can as long as I can to help us reach our goal of rebuilding this program."
The other freshmen who contribute heavily are Alexis Amabile, Alyssa Griner and Karli Theis.
"It's been an interesting year so far because we're used to playing girls our age," Lantz said. "But I have to say that our three seniors (Rachael Bourget, Maddie Eldridge and Jessica Walker) have been totally supportive and are teaching us the ropes.
"Rachael is like a coach and telling us what to do, helping us and encouraging us. Maddie is a team leader who cheers for everyone and makes you feel positive about everything you're doing, and Jessica is right there in support, too."
The senior leadership also has caught the eye of Tiberi.
"Those three really bought into doing what they can to help this program," he said. "They realize how important it is for us to have those young girls and they've been tremendous in helping. We've only got 15 girls in the entire program, so they have to rely on one another."
In a 34-31 loss to visiting Grove City on Jan. 10, Lantz had nine points and Griner scored six.
Boys basketball team losing close contests
The boys basketball team will be looking to snap a four-game losing streak when it plays Toledo Scott on Monday, Jan. 15, at Toledo Waite.
The Pacers are struggling to finish close contests, losing league games at home to Jerome, 56-53 on Jan. 9, and Hilliard Bradley, 51-43 on Jan. 5 when the Jaguars closed the game on a 6-0 run in the final minute.
The losing streak began with a 58-56 loss to visiting Dresden Tri-Valley on Dec. 27 and also included a 65-52 loss at Mount Vernon on Dec. 30.
The Pacers are 4-8 overall and will take a 3-3 OCC- Cardinal record into a game Friday, Jan. 19, at Hilliard Darby.
Delaware played against Jerome without senior guard Tracey Sumner (illness) and junior forward Jack Weller (injury).
"We are going to find a way to play more guys, more minutes, without affecting the outcome of the game," coach Jordan Blackburn said. "We were tired at the end of the third quarter and into the fourth. We played our tails off in the first half. It was an absolutely great effort.
"But we didn't get a defensive rebound in the fourth quarter because (Jerome) didn't miss a shot. They went 5-for-5, including a 3-pointer, and made both free throws. Their other two possessions they had turnovers. Obviously, with a size and quickness disadvantage, we have to mix up the defenses. That being said, two stops in a quarter won't cut it. That's on me. We were tired."
Terin Kinsway had 20 points against Jerome to lead Delaware. Nate Griggs added 10 points and Paul Burris scored nine.
Against Bradley, Griggs had 20 points and Kinsway scored 13.
Kinsway is averaging 17.8 points and 8.7 rebounds and Griggs is averaging 15 points.
Wrestlers looking to stay perfect in league
The wrestling team will look to remain unbeaten in the OCC-Cardinal when it plays host to Thomas Worthington on Wednesday, Jan. 17.
The Pacers won seven matches, all by pin, in a 42-30 victory over host Darby on Jan. 10 to improve to 3-0 in the OCC-Cardinal. The loss dropped the Panthers, who are the defending league champions, to 1-1.
Junior Zach Williams, a two-time state qualifier, opened the match by pinning Ryan Blackerby at 132 pounds in 4 minutes, 48 seconds to improve to 14-4 on the season.
Also winning by pin were Jake Henley (145), Corbin May (160), Mason Sutander (170), Zane Hypes (195), Nathan Robinson (220) and Josh Bell (113).
May improved to a team-best 16-3, Sutander and Robinson improved to 10-5 and Henley was 9-6 before the Pacers competed in the Top Gun Invitational on Jan. 12 and 13 at Alliance.
The Panthers are without Jared Ball, a two-time state placer who is recovering from knee surgery after being injured Dec. 8 in the Walsh Ironman at Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit.
"That definitely changed the lineup some, but our guys went out there and earned bonus points (against Darby)," coach Josh Heffernan said. "We had eight sophomores and two freshmen in the lineup and everyone did well for the team. Even some of the guys who didn't win did their part by not getting pinned and battling the entire match. We only gave up two pins and that prevented (Darby) from getting bonus points."
Swim teams sweep home invitational
The boys and girls swimming and diving teams both won titles in the six-team Delaware Invitational held Jan. 5 and 6 at Ohio Wesleyan.
The boys 200-yard freestyle relay of Kael Gannon, Lucas Pape, Zach Ward and Andrew Parker set a meet record while tying Watterson for first in 1:31.02.
Also winning for the boys were the 400 free relay of Ward, Caleb Bucher, Ethan Hall and Aidan Stojkov (3:36.76), Parker in the 100 free (49.91) and Paul Carter in the 100 breaststroke (1:03.92).
The Pacers totaled 365 points to finish well ahead of runner-up Westerville South (224).
The girls team scored 262 points to edge runner-up Watterson (259.5), as Danielle Ward won the 100 butterfly (1:01.87) and teamed with Lauren Ertz, Elizabeth Abahazi and Rena Ouyang to win the 200 free relay (1:44.63).
Below are the coming schedules for the Delaware Hayes boys basketball, girls basketball, bowling, gymnastics, swimming & diving and wrestling teams:
Jan. 15 -- Toledo Scott at Toledo Waite
*Jan. 19 -- At Hilliard Darby. The Pacers beat the Panthers 59-45 on Dec. 8.
Jan. 17 -- Home vs. Whitehall
*Jan. 19 -- Home vs. Hilliard Darby. The Pacers lost to the Panthers 50-38 on Dec. 8.
Jan. 20 -- At Grandview
*Jan. 16 -- Westerville North at Columbus Square Bowling Palace
*Jan. 19 -- Thomas Worthington at Capri Lanes
Jan. 17 -- At Dublin Coffman with *Dublin Jerome, *Dublin Scioto, Darby, Hilliard Bradley and Hilliard Davidson
SWIMMING & DIVING
Jan. 20 -- Presidential Pentathlon Plus at Ohio Wesleyan
*Jan. 18 -- Home vs. Thomas Worthington
Jan. 20 -- Central Crossing Invitational