The Delaware Hayes High School girls basketball team will face a difficult challenge in the first round of the Division I district tournament, but it will enter the postseason with a little bit of momentum.

The Delaware Hayes High School girls basketball team will face a difficult challenge in the first round of the Division I district tournament, but it will enter the postseason with a little bit of momentum.

The Pacers, who close the regular season Tuesday, Feb. 17, at Marysville, are seeded 46th of 47 teams in the Division I district tournament and will play at second-seeded Newark in the first round Saturday, Feb. 21.

The winner will play host to 47th-seeded Franklin Heights in the second round Feb. 27.

"Newark is extremely talented," said coach Peter Minardi, whose team was 2-17 overall and 2-11 in the OCC-Capital Division before concluding league play Feb. 13 against Franklin Heights. "They've got a great post player (6-foot-2 senior Kym Royster) surrounded by strong perimeter shooters."

Delaware, which beat host Olentangy Orange 52-48 in double overtime Feb. 6, won its first league matchup against Franklin Heights, 43-35 on Jan. 16.

Ranked fifth in the state poll, Newark was 20-1 overall before playing Reynoldsburg on Feb. 14. The Wildcats lost to Gahanna 55-54 on Dec. 12 but avenged the loss by beating the Lions 50-35 in the second round of OCC-Ohio play Jan. 29. Newark clinched its first league title since 1993-94, ending a four-year title run by Reynoldsburg.

Royster, an Indiana University signee, was averaging 20.1 points and 9.8 rebounds through 21 games and is the program's all-time scoring leader. She had 1,458 career points before Feb. 14.

The Wildcats also get strong guard play from Ali Cartnal, Emily Paul and Adrian Crockwell.

"Royster runs the floor very well and they've got good ball-handlers," Minardi said. "We want to be competitive, play hard and not quit. We've done a much better job of competing in the second half of the season. We cut each quarter into four-minute segments and focus on what we can control. We need to keep that mindset going forward."

Delaware lost to Mount Vernon 46-33 in a league game Feb. 10. Abbie Gore scored 17 points.

Against Orange, Sirya Banks scored eight of her 18 points in the two overtimes, with Kelsey Knodell and Gore adding 14 and 12 points, respectively.

"Banks really attacked the basket in the overtime periods against Orange," Minardi said. "She and Kelsey Knodell and Katie Blair have improved their outside shooting and that has enabled Abbie Gore more room to score and rebound in the post. Gore is playing some great ball right now.

"We still have some scoring droughts which have plagued us all season. But overall, we've improved tremendously. My only wish is that we could play well for 32 minutes. We had a bad quarter against Mount Vernon, but played them pretty much even the rest of the way."

Boys basketball teamassured of 2nd in OCC

The boys basketball team's OCC-Capital finale Friday, Feb. 20, at home against Olentangy could have a major impact on the final league standings.

Whether the Pacers will be playing for a share of the OCC-Capital title was to be determined Feb. 13, but Delaware secured at least a share of second place when it rallied to beat Mount Vernon 69-42 on Feb. 10.

Entering play Feb. 13, New Albany and Delaware were 11-1 and 10-2, respectively, in the OCC-Capital. Olentangy was third at 8-4.

Delaware was 13-4 overall before playing Franklin Heights in a league game Feb. 13 and Marion Harding on Feb. 14.

The Pacers lost to Olentangy 58-56 on Jan. 23, as the Braves' Jimmy Gundling scored the winning basket on a layup with 2.1 seconds remaining.

"The Olentangy loss hurt us bad and, although we can still win the league championship, it's truly out of our control now," senior guard Noble Moore said. "We'd like to get some revenge, but our focal point now is to be the best we can in the district tournament."

Against Mount Vernon, Moore made five 3-pointers and finished with 21 points as the Pacers overcame a sluggish start. Delaware trailed 18-8 after the first quarter and 27-23 at halftime but outscored the Yellow Jackets 46-15 in the second half.

Khalil Iverson, who committed to Wisconsin after practice on Feb. 12 and will officially sign on April 15, scored 17 points and Zach McIntire added 11 against Mount Vernon.

Moore's five 3-pointers matched his season best, which came Jan. 27 in a 65-56 league win over Worthington Kilbourne. That same game, Iverson surpassed 1,000 career points.

In a 61-48 league win over Olentangy Orange on Feb. 6, Yoakum had 16 points, Iverson scored 15 and Moore added 13.

"We're very motivated and think we have a lot left to play for," Moore said. "We want to have the best season Delaware has ever had. We had the most wins last year (21), but we want to take the next step. We have one district championship banner in the gym (1986). We want to match that and go further."

The Division I district tournament draw is Sunday, Feb. 15, with first-round games being played Feb. 28.

The Pacers are tied for eighth in the district poll.

Swimmers, diversbegin postseason

The boys and girls swimming teams competed in the Division I sectional Feb. 14 at Thomas Worthington.

The winner of each event automatically qualified for the district meet Saturday, Feb. 21, at Ohio University. In addition, 27 at-large district berths were awarded in each event based on times from the Central, East and Southeast sectional sites.

At district, the top two placers in each swimming event automatically advance to the state meet, which runs Feb. 26 through Feb. 28 at Branin Natatorium in Canton. In addition, 16 at-large state berths will be awarded for each swimming event based on times statewide.

Divers did not compete at sectional. The district diving meet is Monday, Feb. 16, at Columbus School for Girls. The top three finishers in the boys competition and the top four finishers in the girls competition advance to state.

Last season at district, the girls team finished third (174.5) behind Upper Arlington (522.5) and Thomas Worthington (204) as 24 teams scored.

The girls team matched a program record by qualifying for state in five events and set six program records.

Brooke Glesenkamp finished second in the 50-yard freestyle (24.0 seconds) and fourth in the 100 free (52.39), setting school records in both events.

The boys team finished 15th (51) behind champion St. Charles (304) as 25 teams scored.

Bowlers finishregular season

The boys bowling team beat Marion Harding 2,383-2,036 on Feb. 9 to finish the regular season 11-4 overall.

Patrick Woller (437 two-game series, 227-210) and Dakota Brugler (419, 173-246) led the Pacers.

Jordan Lanham leads the Pacers with a 205 game average, followed by Bryan MacDonald (184.4), Woller (183.7), Ben Chappa (179.6) and Brugler (176.6).

The girls team beat Marion Harding 1,972-1,938 to finish 8-6 overall.

Alicia Halstead leads the Pacers with a 174.1 average, followed by Taylor Schurr (162.2).

The boys team tied Gahanna for third in the six-team OCC-Cardinal at 3-2 behind co-champions Westerville Central and Westerville South (both 4-1). The girls finished fourth at 2-3 behind champion Westerville South (5-0).

The Division I sectional is Feb. 27 (girls) and Feb. 28 (boys) at Columbus Square Bowling Palace.