The Delaware Hayes High School boys basketball team shook up the OCC-Capital Division race on Jan. 24 when it defeated league-leading Mount Vernon 63-50.

The Delaware Hayes High School boys basketball team shook up the OCC-Capital Division race on Jan. 24 when it defeated league-leading Mount Vernon 63-50.

Michael Wells led the way with 34 points, eight assists and five steals. He scored 14 points in the second quarter as the Pacers outscored the visitors 19-2 to take a 31-17 lead that they stretched to 54-32 early in the fourth quarter.

Mount Vernon fell into a first-place tie with Olentangy Orange at 7-2, and Delaware improved to 6-3 to tie New Albany for third place.

"Part of the battle of being coach is getting the kids in the mindset that they're going to win before the game starts," coach Jordan Blackburn said. "Going into the game, I don't know if many people in central Ohio would've thought that we were going to win. But our kids really did think that. When you truly believe, you play a little bit differently. We need to get to the point where we do that for every game."

The win also was impressive because the Pacers were without three players who went into the preseason as expected starters. It was the second game they were missing 6-foot-6 senior forward Jacob Bosiokovic and senior guard Zach Parsons. They joined senior Matt Bingaya, who was injured during football season, as players not expected to return this season.

Bosiokovic was averaging 13.2 points and 10.3 rebounds and shooting 56.9 percent from the field (66-for-116) before sustaining a high left ankle sprain in practice Jan. 18. He must wear a walking boot for four weeks.

Parsons violated team policy and was removed from the team, according to Blackburn.

In addition, Delaware lost sophomore guard Jamison Lahman for the season Jan. 25 after suffering an injury in practice which required a dental procedure.

"We lost 60-45 (on Dec. 9) at Mount Vernon, so this shows you how much we've improved as a team, to do it with a new lineup and a bunch of younger guys," Blackburn said. "We expect Mike Wells and Khalil Iverson to make plays, but the rest of the cast is stepping up now. Gaige Linville, Alex Stevens and Griffin Kinney had several big rebounds during key stretches.

"Our game plan was to limit the touches for Riley Swanson and Bradley Fenton. Noble Moore is only a freshman, but for the second time this season he took away one of the best players in our conference (Swanson). Everyone knows Noble can shoot, but his toughness is special."

Swanson had 17 points, but 11 of those came in the final 5 minutes, 26 seconds when Delaware had a substantial lead. Fenton was held to six points.

"It's fun being a freshman and getting a challenge like that," Moore said. "I was in deny-mode and told not to play help defense. I just go out and try as hard as I can. I'm pretty tired now, but it's worth it to get the win."

The Pacers attacked a trapping press for numerous easy layups, as Wells either scored or assisted on several opportunities.

"It's just read and react," said Wells, who led central Ohio in scoring at 24.6 points per game and also was averaging 5.1 assists through 15 games. "In the beginning, they squared me up and later on they rushed me. So you just see that and take what they give you. Coach also told us they had some guys in foul trouble, so he wanted us to attack. I don't like slowing it down at the end of a game like we did, but it is part of the game."

Fenton was in foul trouble throughout and fouled out five seconds into the fourth quarter after he stole a pass and drove for a two-handed dunk attempt that failed. He hung on the rim to draw a technical foul, which also counted as a personal foul.

After playing Watkins Memorial on Jan. 27, Delaware has just one game this week - Friday, Feb. 3, at Big Walnut.

Delaware plays host to New Albany on Feb. 10 and plays at Orange on Feb. 17 to close the regular season. The Pacers also play host Feb. 7 to Hilliard Bradley, which rallied to stun Delaware 55-54 on Jan. 3.

"We'll worry about those when they come," Blackburn said. "Did we surprise some people? Yes. But it won't matter if we don't take care of them one at a time. It's a simple saying, but it's true, we've got to take one game at a time."

•BOSIOKOVIC HONORED - Two days after Bosiokovic was injured on the basketball floor, he earned another award for the 2011 baseball season.

On Jan. 20, Bosiokovic was selected the Pukka Headwear Player of the Year for batting .500 with 36 runs, 32 RBI and a .908 slugging percentage.

Bosiokovic received the award at the Ohio High School Baseball Coaches Association state clinic, where he was among five finalists in the four divisions.

The Ohio State signee was 38-for-76 at the plate, with 16 extra-base hits (8 doubles, 1 triple and 7 home runs). He also was 26-for-27 in stolen-base attempts.

"The injury shouldn't affect anything with Ohio State all," Bosiokovic said. "They want me to be active within high school and the community. It's not like this is a major injury. It's more of an unlucky situation that causes me to miss the rest of basketball season."

Bosiokovic has been first-team all-district in his three high school baseball seasons and was first-team all-state last season, as well as the Division I state Player of the Year.