The Delaware Hayes High School boys basketball team is trying to limit its turnovers as it awaits the return of 6-foot-5 junior guard Will Yoakum.

The Delaware Hayes High School boys basketball team is trying to limit its turnovers as it awaits the return of 6-foot-5 junior guard Will Yoakum.

The Pacers were 1-2 overall after losing to host New Albany 56-37 in their OCC-Capital opener Dec. 8 and have had varying success at limiting turnovers without Yoakum, who was injured days before the season opener against Buckeye Valley on Nov. 27.

Delaware had 15 turnovers against New Albany after committing 28 in a 59-57 overtime win over Buckeye Valley.

Coach Jordan Blackburn said the Pacers' best effort through three games came in a 48-45 loss to Pickerington North on Dec. 1.

"We know when we take care of the ball, we can beat anybody around," said Blackburn, whose team played Big Walnut in a league game Dec. 11. "We illustrated that against Pickerington North, which (was) 3-0 (before Dec. 11)."

Still, without Yoakum's size, defense and shooting ability, a lot has been placed on the shoulders of 6-6 senior wing player Zach McIntire, who was 5-for-11 shooting for 14 points against New Albany.

McIntire had 24 points against Buckeye Valley, including a running basket in the lane to force overtime, and scored 18 against Pickerington North. Jake Bourget added 12 points against the Panthers.

Against New Albany, the Pacers were 3-for-16 shooting from behind the 3-point arc and 13-for-33 from the field overall. Freshman guard Terin Kins-way had eight points and seven rebounds against the Eagles, who went 13-1 in the OCC-Capital last season to edge Delaware (12-2) for the title.

"New Albany had some pretty good defensive pressure on us, but it was more than that. They were physical as well," Blackburn said. "They got us out of sync, but our mistakes are fixable and we'll be getting a pretty good player (Yoakum) back soon. Most of the turnovers we had were not dead-ball turnovers and that led to several fast-breaks and open shots for (New Albany).

"There's a reason the last seven times we've played New Albany, the home team has won. They're usually very good games and now we have to hope we can return the favor at our place (Jan. 26)."

Bowling teams have experienced rosters

The boys bowling team has returned four of its top six competitors from last season, when it finished 11-4 in the Central Ohio High School Bowling Conference-North Division and 3-2 in the OCC-Cardinal.

However, the Pacers lost their No. 1 player to graduation in Jordan Lanham, who had a 205.3 game average. In addition, junior Bryan MacDonald, who was second on the team with a 184.4 average, is not back.

The returnees are seniors Patrick Woller (183.7), Ben Chapa (179.6) and Dakota Brugler (176.6) and junior D.J. Cocherl (158.9).

"Dakota is our captain this year and is taking this responsibility very seriously," fifth-year coach Darin Halstead said. "He is doing everything he can to lead the boys team by example. He stays after practice to continue to work on technique and any other shortcomings in his game.

"Ben is a co-captain and has also taken much responsibility with the team, especially during conditioning and stretching."

Rounding out the roster are junior Nathen Shrum and sophomore Dylan Jebode.

"This is a seasoned team, with four multiple-year varsity players," Halstead said. "We'll continue working to clean up their games. Our weakness right now is our consistency in Baker games. The team has shot close to 250 scores in Bakers, but has also failed with low games in the mid-150s."

Delaware has moved from the OCC-Cardinal to the OCC-Capital along with Big Walnut, New Albany, Olentangy and Olentangy Orange.

The Pacers opened 3-0 overall, beating Big Walnut 2,075-1,784 on Dec. 1, Olentangy 2,225-1,741 on Dec. 3 and Worthington Kilbourne 2,280-2,199 on Dec. 7. Chapa led the team with a 199.4 average, followed by Woller (187.6), Brugler (177.3) and Cocherl (171.9).

The girls team has returned five letterwinners from last season, when it went 8-6 in the COHSBC-North and 2-3 in the OCC-Cardinal and qualified for the Division I district tournament.

The Pacers finished 10th (3,192) at district behind champion Zanesville (4,056), as the top four teams advanced to state.

Junior Alicia Halstead, the coach's daughter, heads the group of returnees after having a team-best 174.1 average last season. She led the Pacers at district with a 507 three-game series to finish 28th of 124 competitors.

"Alicia is the captain and has worked all summer performing in (Junior Tournament Bowlers Association) tournaments for exposure to sport shot conditions," coach Hastead said. "Emma is co-captain and has been working on her consistency. She has been working on slowing her throw down and is throwing a ball that is heavier."

Also returning are seniors Brittney Kershner (103.5) and Shaelyn Bendele (116.9) and sophomores Emma Wasielewski (124.1) and Ashley Woller (126.8).

Rounding out the roster are sophomore Reagan Olson and freshman Alyssa Williams.

"The girls listen very closely to directions and attempt to execute each and every time they throw the ball," coach Halstead said. "Our goal is to get each of them to perform their best as an individual so team success will follow. They are willing to attempt any shot suggestions, but also need to quickly overcome any frustration on performance."

Delaware opened 3-0, beating Big Walnut 1,683-1,429 on Dec. 1, Olentangy 1,681-1,544 on Dec. 3 and Kilbourne 1,675-1,342 on Dec. 7. Alicia Halstead was averaging 159, followed by Williams (152.2), Wasielewski (140.9) and Woller (136).

Bauer, Blair leading girls basketball team

The girls basketball team was 1-4 overall and 0-3 in the OCC-Capital before playing Big Walnut on Dec. 11.

"It'll be a work in progress all season," coach Jim Morgan said. "But as long as we keep improving the skill level, that's all we're looking at right now. We knew going in that this would be a building season. Our inexperience is hurting us. We're young and learning and I've seen improvements in some little things already."

The Pacers lost their fourth contest in a row Dec. 8 when they fell to New Albany 60-32 in a league contest. They lost by similar scores in a league game against Worthington Kilbourne (68-32) on Dec. 4 and against Hilliard Darby (62-30) on Dec. 5.

Senior Brandy Bauer was averaging 8.8 points through five games and junior Katie Blair was averaging 7.4.

Wrestlers place third in Harrison Duals

The wrestling team opened Dec. 5 by finishing third in the Harrison Duals.

The Pacers beat Brookville (Ind.) Franklin County 51-27 in the second round and defeated Cincinnati Glen Este 37-36 on criteria in the third round. Delaware then beat Fairfield 39-33 before defeating Harrison 34-33 in the third-place match.

Delaware and Glen Este were tied at 36 points before the Pacers won on the ninth criteria, which is the most cumulative first points scored, according to coach Josh Heffernan. Against Harrison, heavyweight Lance Paul gave the Pacers the win with a pin in the final match.