The Delaware Hayes High School boys basketball team displayed growth and character during their past three contests.

The Delaware Hayes High School boys basketball team displayed growth and character during their past three contests.

The young Pacers bounced back from a pair of losses to defeat host Olentangy 79-59 last Tuesday and move back over the .500 mark.

The Pacers were 3-2 overall and 1-1 in the OCC-Capital Division before traveling to play league-foe Watkins Memorial last Friday.

After starting 2-0, Delaware lost to Mount Vernon 50-38 on Dec. 11 when the host Yellow Jackets outscored the Pacers 29-19 in the second half.

The following night, Delaware trailed host Dublin Coffman 33-16 at halftime before surging to cut the deficit to one point in with 1 minute, 40 seconds remaining. But the Pacers were forced to foul and eventually lost 59-50.

"(Beating Olentangy) was important in terms of regaining our confidence, but I think we actually gained some confidence in the second half against Coffman and just carried it over," coach Jordan Blackburn said. "We had a charging-blocking foul go against us (at Coffman) when we were down by one point. If we get that call, we may have won that game. We played very well in the second half and cut down our turnovers.

"Coffman has a kid, Michael Green, who has signed with Akron. Coleman Braxton held him to two points and four rebounds, plus Coleman had 11 rebounds. I was real proud of him and our entire team in the second half."

The Pacers used the transition game to beat the Braves. Delaware scored 50 points in the second half to turn a 29-26 halftime lead into a rout.

"This team has great chemistry and is really unselfish and I think we proved that tonight," said Blackburn, whose team will play host to Big Walnut on Tuesday in its final game before the home Delaware County Classic Tipoff on Dec. 28. "We scored 30 points in the paint, either beating their 1-2-2 three-quarter court press, off steals or on offensive rebounds. Hopefully, the last six quarters have us going in the right direction."

Sophomore Matt Bingaya scored 22 points and recorded a team-record eight steals, according to Blackburn. He also had seven rebounds and six assists.

Zach Parsons came off the bench for 18 points, three assists and three steals. Nick Potter added 16 points and nine rebounds. Nick Caudill scored nine on three 3-pointers.

"Zach Parsons hit some real key shots every time Olentangy cut into the lead," Blackburn said. "He sparked a 10-0 run and hit a couple 3-pointers. He's shooting 52 percent from 3-point range. He's going to be a big player for us."

• COUNTY CLASSIC SET -- Final plans for the Delaware County Classic on Dec. 28 at Hayes have been set.

"The Delaware County Classic was played for the first time last year and will be known as the Delaware County Eberst Classic to honor Larry Eberst," Hayes athletics director Kevin Reed said. "The county athletic directors and boys basketball coaches were gracious enough to let us host the event this year. It was originally schedule to be played at Ohio Wesleyan."

Larry Eberst coached Hayes boys basketball for 15 seasons and taught in Delaware City Schools for more than 31 years. He died in a plane crash July 14.

The schedule remains the same as was announced before the season. Buckeye Valley plays Hamilton Township at 2 p.m., with Olentangy Orange facing Coshocton at 4 p.m. Olentangy battles Big Walnut at 6 p.m., followed by Delaware playing Olentangy Liberty at 8 p.m.

Hayes will not clear the gym between games, so fans can enjoy all four games for the price of one ticket. There will be a tribute to Eberst's family before the final game.

"Before the warmups for the final game, we will present Larry's family with a plaque to be placed in our commons in his honor for his service with Delaware City Schools," Reed said. "It should be a great day of friendly competition and it's a fan's dream to see four games for the price of one.

"I'd like to thank the rest of the county schools for being so gracious and allowing us to host the games and rename the event. We're also working to keep the event played at the same time of the season every year, but we will be rotating the host site."

•The wrestling team did not fare well in the Big Walnut Duals. It went 1-4, beating Galion and losing to Northmor, Paint Valley, Springfield Kenton Ridge and Springfield Shawnee.

But that doesn't mean the Pacers haven't had some solid efforts.

Sophomore Seth McCurdy went 4-1 despite competing in the 112-pound class instead of his normal 103. McCurdy was 7-1 overall with four pins and seven takedowns before the Pacers competed last Saturday in the New Albany Tournament.

Sophomore Joel Calfe, competing in his first event, went 5-0 at 160. He had four pins and six takedowns.

Senior Joe Sumner, competing at 171, also was 5-0 with four pins to improve to 9-1 with five pins and eight takedowns. Junior Tyler Daugherty (215) went 3-2 with three pins and senior Mike Kalista went 2-1. Daugherty is 5-5 overall with 12 takedowns and three pins. Kalista is 3-5 with seven takedowns.

"(Calfe) would've had five (pins)," said coach Josh Heffernan, whose team will compete in the Marion Harding Invitational on Dec. 28-29. "The ref actually slapped the mat, but his opponent was bleeding from the nose and he ended up officially having to injury default. (Kalista) missed the first two matches because he was taking the ACT, but he came in and went 2-1 during the second half of the day.

"(Daugherty) leads the team in takedowns. He has improved tremendously in the neutral position and is working at a much faster pace on his feet this year compared to last."

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Delaware Hayes boys basketball, girls basketball, boys and girls swimming and diving, boys and girls bowling and gymnastics teams:

BOYS BASKETBALL

*Dec. 11 -- Lost to Mount Vernon 50-38. Matt Bingaya had 13 points for the Pacers, who trailed 28-23 after scoring just four points in the third quarter. Dec. 12 -- Lost to Dublin Coffman 59-50 Last Tuesday -- Defeated Olentangy 79-59 *Last Friday -- Played Watkins Memorial *Tuesday -- Home vs. Big Walnut Dec. 28 -- Home vs. Olentangy Liberty (8 p.m.) in Delaware County Invitational

Of note: The Pacers were 3-2 overall and 1-1 in the OCC-Capital before last Friday.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

*Dec. 11 -- Defeated Mount Vernon 51-47. Cindy Bowman and Caroline Welker both scored 12 points. Chelsie Burden added nine. *Last Friday -- Played Watkins Memorial Last Saturday -- Played Dublin Scioto *Tuesday -- At Big Walnut

Of note: The Pacers were 3-1 overall and 2-1 in the OCC-Capital before last Friday.

SWIMMING & DIVING

Dec. 11 -- Boys: Finished sixth (70) in six-team Worthington Invitational at Thomas, as St. Charles (110) won; Girls: Finished fourth (70) behind champion Thomas (112). Jessica Ward won the 100 butterfly (1:02.31). Dec. 12 -- Boys: Won 17-team Pickerington Central Invitational with 198 points, as runner-up Bloom-Carroll had 158 in the meet at the Lancaster YMCA; Girls: Finished fourth (131) behind champion Pickerington North (212), Hartley (189) and Central (165). Last Friday -- Competed against Mount Vernon and Columbus Academy Last Saturday -- Competed in Delaware County Classic Dec. 28 -- At Watterson Relays at Thomas Worthington

BOWLING

Last Monday -- Boys: Def. Mount Gilead 2,157-1,394. Kyle Hovatter rolled two of the Pacers' four 200 games as he logged a 216-230-446. Josh Hauersperger had a 213 as part of his 369 and Ray Getz added a 221 as part of his 365. Josh Jones had a 310; Girls: Lost to Mount Gilead 1,636-1,411. Mo Flahive led Delaware with high game (172) and high series (290). Ashleigh Keller had a 265 series, followed by Olivia Ballard (233), Taylor Kunce (212) and Joran Sierawaski (205). Last Wednesday -- Played Elgin Last Friday -- Competed against Olentangy

Of note: The boys were 4-0 before last Wednesday and the girls were 2-2. All matches are Mid-Ohio Conference matches.

GYMNASTICS

Last Monday -- Finished fourth (110.075) behind Worthington Kilbourne (128.85), Dublin Scioto (126.175) and Buckeye Valley (113.45). Kristin Yannacey was third on vault and Alex Kern was eighth on bars. Last Saturday -- Competed in Hilliard Invitational Jan. 6 -- At Thomas Worthington vs. Thomas, Hilliard Davidson and Hilliard Bradley

*OCC-Capital contest