Against Hilliard Davidson on Jan. 23, the Olentangy Liberty High School boys basketball team scored 36 points in the second half on its way to a 62-51 victory.
Most importantly to coach Greg Nossaman was that four Patriots players scored in double figures, providing an example of how they can be successful when they share the ball.
That is especially important going forward considering 6-foot-5 junior wing player Ben Roderick is out for the remainder of the season with a torn left ACL.
Roderick was averaging 24.4 points and eight rebounds before suffering the injury with 3 minutes, 26 seconds remaining in his team's 73-66 victory over Olentangy on Jan. 31.
He had 27 points that night, including scoring the 1,000th of his prep career, and ended the game with 1,019.
Roderick used crutches Feb. 2 when he was recognized for becoming the program's first player to surpass 1,000 points. The Patriots lost 70-56 to Westerville North that night.
He had an MRI on Feb. 4, and Nossaman disclosed the results the next day.
"When you take 24 points and eight rebounds out of the lineup, you've got to find it someplace else," Nossaman said.
Liberty was 10-8 overall before playing Newark on Feb. 6 and is 4-4 in the OCC-Buckeye Division heading into its game Friday, Feb. 9, at Westerville Central.
The Patriots will learn their Division I district tournament draw Sunday, Feb. 11.
In Roderick's absence Feb. 2, Nick Nakasian had 17 points and seven other players scored, with Llwyatt Hofer and Henry Hinkle each adding eight points.
"Ben has great teammates that really care about each other," Nossaman said. "We will rally together."
Roderick scored 20 or more points in 12 of the first 17 games he played this season, and he never scored fewer than 17 in any game.
He had 17 points in the victory over Davidson while Mitchell Kershner scored 14, Dan McFarland had 12, Mitchell Okuley scored 10 and Nakasian added nine.
That game could provide a model for how the Patriots can adjust.
"We were moving the ball and getting everybody (involved against Davidson)," Nossaman said.
Wrestling squad continues OCC action
The wrestling team takes a 3-0 record in the OCC-Buckeye into its match Thursday, Feb. 8, at Westerville Central. The Patriots close league action Feb. 15 at home against Westerville North.
On Feb. 2, Liberty lost to Massillon Perry 35-32 in a home dual as both teams won seven matches. Earning victories were Luke Blaine (120 pounds), Jordan Rosselli (126), Blake Saito (132), Justin Callahan (160), Carson Kharchla (170), Trevor Lawson (182) and Davin Lambert (heavyweight).
Perry was the runner-up in last year's state duals and qualified for the state team dual tournament again this season.
"(The season is) going pretty well," Kharchla said. "We've got a good team with a lot of good guys. We're having fun. It's always important when you're enjoying wrestling."
CBJ Cup is next for hockey team
The hockey team is seeded second for the Blue Jackets Cup, which begins Thursday, Feb. 8, and concludes Sunday, Feb. 11, with the championship game at OhioHealth Ice Haus.
Last season, the Patriots lost 7-5 to Dublin Jerome in the final.
Liberty beat Upper Arlington 6-0 on Feb. 2 and Watterson 8-0 on Feb. 3 to improve to 23-5-3 overall and finish 13-2-1 in the Capital Hockey Conference-Red Division.
Austin Barok and Sam Turner had two goals each and goaltender David Dew had 15 saves against Watterson.
"We've played a lot better the past few weekends and are starting to get it together again," senior forward Connor Hisaw said. "We're working on getting better at screening the (opposing) goalie and forechecking better. We're working on our special teams. We might be a little bit tougher this year. In the playoffs last year, we had production from one line and this year we're getting production from everyone."
Through 29 games, Turner had 16 goals and 32 assists, Ron Ambrosia had 17 goals and 20 assists, Hisaw had 24 goals and 11 assists and Barok had 16 goals and 14 assists.
Hisaw and Ambrosia have been joined on one forward line regularly by Kevin Springfield, who Hisaw believes is one of the team's best passers.
Girls basketball team preps for postseason
The girls basketball team received the 23rd seed for the Division I district tournament and will open Feb. 20 at 11th-seeded Westerville Central, which it lost to 55-45 on Jan. 5 and closes the regular season against Friday, Feb. 9, at home.
Liberty was 10-11 overall after losing to Newark 56-35 on Feb. 5 and is 5-4 in the OCC-Buckeye.
The Patriots beat Westerville North 48-41 on Feb. 2 as Emma Humenay made five 3-pointers and finished with 21 points.
Then on Feb. 3 in a 60-53 victory over Teays Valley 60-53, Kennedy Kashmiry made two 3s and scored 13 points, Humenay made three 3s and had 13 points and Gina Santangelo scored all nine of her points on 3s.
Below are the coming schedules for the Liberty boys basketball, girls basketball, gymnastics, hockey, swimming & diving and wrestling teams:
*Feb. 9 -- At Westerville Central. The Patriots lost to the Warhawks 66-53 on Jan. 5.
Feb. 10 -- Home vs. Cincinnati Hughes
*Feb. 9 -- Home vs. Westerville Central. The Patriots lost to the Warhawks 55-45 on Jan. 5.
Feb. 10 -- OCC-Buckeye meet at Hilliard Davidson
Feb. 8 -- Seventh-seeded Springboro in first round of Blue Jackets Cup, 6:10 p.m. at OhioHealth Ice Haus. Winner plays third-seeded St. Charles or sixth-seeded Olentangy in semifinal, 6:30 p.m. Feb. 9 at Chiller Easton. Winner plays top-seeded Dublin Jerome, fourth-seeded Upper Arlington, fifth-seeded Cincinnati Moeller or eighth-seeded Watterson in final, 7 p.m. Feb. 11 at Ice Haus. Liberty is seeded second.
SWIMMING & DIVING
Feb. 10 -- Division I sectional swimming meet at Kenyon College. The winner of each event automatically qualifies for district Feb. 17 at Ohio University. In addition, 27 at-large district berths will be awarded in each event based on times from the Central, East and Southeast sectional sites.
Feb. 12 -- Division I district girls diving meet at Dublin Community Recreation Center. The top four finishers advance to state Feb. 22 at Branin Natatorium in Canton.
Feb. 13 -- Division I district boys diving meet at Dublin Community Recreation Center. The top five finishers advance to state Feb. 24 at Branin Natatorium in Canton.
*Feb. 8 -- At Westerville Central