The Delaware Hayes High School girls basketball team still had making history in sight entering its game last Friday against OCC-Capital Division-rival Franklin Heights.

The Delaware Hayes High School girls basketball team still had making history in sight entering its game last Friday against OCC-Capital Division-rival Franklin Heights.

At 14-0 overall and 7-0 in the OCC, the Pacers were five games off the program record of 19 consecutive regular-season victories. Finishing a perfect regular season would enable them to top that mark.

"We know the longest (regular-season) winning streak was 19 games," coach Erin Fragale said. "We did that in Carrie Banks' senior season (1996). We lost the first game that season to Newark and then won 19 straight."

That team actually won 22 in a row overall, as it finished 22-2.

So the goal now for Delaware is to post the first perfect regular season. The Pacers have five games remaining, including home games Tuesday against Mount Vernon and Friday against Watkins Memorial.

"Mount Vernon is always a competitive team," Fragale said. "They play tough defense and put lots of pressure on you. It's a rivalry game that nine times out of every 10 is going to be close throughout. It's always a battle and the winner has to survive intense pressure."

The Pacers will play Feb. 3 at Big Walnut and close with home games Feb. 10 against Hilliard Darby and Feb. 13 against New Albany.

"Obviously Big Walnut (45-43 win Dec. 23) and New Albany (42-40 win Jan. 9) were close games and will be difficult games for us," Fragale said. "We're just going to continue to work hard on the things which we aren't doing well and try to play our best every time we take the floor and see where that gets us."
Although the Pacers were fourth in Division I in the area coaches poll and seventh in the state poll last week, they still sensed a lack of respect.

"We hear people saying we're lucky, or we're only winning by one or two," said 6-foot-1 senior Makeda Matthews, who led the team in scoring (15.9) and rebounding (10.0) through 14 games. "All we can say is that even when we're playing bad, we're winning. We just want to keep winning and make the doubters wrong. We're going to stick at it, play hard and continue to win. We never give up, even during bad games."

Anasa Matthews, also 6-1, was averaging 12.3 points and 9.9 rebounds. She was followed in scoring average by Caroline Welker (9.4), Brittany Skeens (8.8) and Chelsie Burden (7.6).

In a 53-28 win over Olentangy last Tuesday, the Pacers outrebounded the Braves 39-7, excluding deadball rebounds. Makeda (13), Anasa (12) and Welker (8) had more rebounds individually than the Braves' team total.

"It was like they were playing volleyball in there against us," Olentangy coach John Feasel said. "They are two of the best post players in central Ohio and that's what makes them one of the top five or six teams in the district."

Makeda scored 16 points, Anasa had 15 and Welker added 12 points and five steals.
Anasa said the team isn't surprised by the success it has had.

"We've worked real hard for this and we're just having fun now," she said. "The work was during the summer and fall and in practices. The games are the fun things. When we hear people who aren't saying nice things about us, it excites us to play them."

•The boys and girls swimming teams will compete Saturday in the OCC-Capital meet at New Albany. Coach Bill Rietz still was mapping out lineups, but knows his teams will start in a hole after the diving competition. The Pacers have no divers and New Albany typically is strong in diving.

"With us having no diving and (with teams) limited to one entry in each relay, we're going to have to really swim really well to have a chance," Rietz said. "But everybody will be chasing New Albany. They're the cream of the crop on the girls and boys sides."

Rietz said if the teams swim well they should be contending with Mount Vernon for second and third.

"I think Jessica Ward, Abby Kremer, Kyla Lett and Marissa Schlabach will score well for our girls team," Rietz said. "Ward is swimming exceptionally well in the 100-yard butterfly, 100 backstroke and 200-yard individual medley and she likes to swim up to the competition. Kremer and Lett will be strong in the distance events, and Schlabach's stroke in the fly has been coming back to her."

The boys lost a dual against Mount Vernon on Dec. 19, but could catch the Yellow Jackets in a multi-team event.

"I think Andrew Koukis will rise to the occasion and he has done well in the fly and back in past league meets," Rietz said. "I think David Ayscue, Ben Pohlman, Nate Planisek and Jordan Nicol will come through for us, too. Ayscue had two really fine meets in sprints this month and Pohlman is swimming with confidence and will add strength to our relays. Planisek has made huge strides of late and Nicol gives us a chance to score in distance."