After a lopsided loss in the first meeting with Westerville South, the Olentangy Liberty High School boys basketball team was ready to prove itself.

After a lopsided loss in the first meeting with Westerville South, the Olentangy Liberty High School boys basketball team was ready to prove itself.

Both teams were unbeaten in the OCC-Cardinal Division before the Patriots lost at South 68-33 on Jan. 14, but they rebounded for a 66-64 win over the Wildcats on Feb. 18. The victory snapped South's 45-game winning streak in the regular season as well as a 31-game league unbeaten streak.

"Last time, I think we got caught up in it being a battle for first place and didn't really play our game," said senior Frank Longhino, who scored eight points. "It was senior night, everyone was pumped up and the crowd was really great. They gave us a lot of energy to feed off of."

Jake Bischoff led Liberty with 23 points and five 3-pointers. Andy Yazrombek had 19 points and Nick Archer added eight points as the Patriots finished the regular season at 14-6 overall.

"We played good defense and we made shots," coach Greg Nossaman said. "When you play defense and make shots, you'll win a lot of games."

Bischoff scored 20 points in the second half and made six free throws down the stretch.

"(The Wildcats) do a good job getting pressure on you, but we were able to skip the ball through pressure," Nossaman said. "But this is a confidence-builder. They were the No. 2 team in the state and are the top seed in our district. Plus, we have won 14 games, which is more than any (boys basketball) team has won here at Liberty. We're hoping to add to that."

South won the OCC-Cardinal title at 13-1 with Liberty, Westerville Central and Westerville North tied for second at 10-4. Dublin Jerome and Dublin Scioto tied for fifth at 4-10, followed by Olentangy (3-11) and Marysville (2-12).

Liberty opened Division I district tournament play Feb. 23 against Hilliard Darby. The winner plays Jerome or Delaware at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 26, at Jonathan Alder.

Jerome went 7-13 in the regular season and was swept in league play by Liberty. The Patriots won 55-44 on Dec. 10 and 56-55 on Jan. 25.

Delaware went 14-6 in the regular season. Liberty beat the visiting Pacers 41-40 on Dec. 29 in the Larry Eberst Classic.

The second-round winner plays second-seeded Northland, Groveport or Franklin Heights in a district semifinal at 4:15 p.m. March 5 in the Fairgrounds Coliseum.

Olentangy dropped to 6-14 by falling to North 71-54 in the regular-season and league finale on Feb. 18.

The Braves entered the Division II district tournament after playing 17 games against Division I opponents. They were 2-1 against smaller schools, with a 41-38 win over Division III Marion Pleasant on Dec. 3 and a 57-42 win over Division II Big Walnut on Dec. 29 in the Larry Eberst Classic.

Olentangy also lost to Division II Jonathan Alder 59-45 on Dec. 23, which was before the return of forward Joshua Perry. The 6-foot-4 junior missed the first nine games with a knee injury.

The Braves opened postseason play Feb. 22 against Hamilton Township. The winner plays Hilliard Bradley or 11th-seeded Bexley in the second round at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25, at Grove City. Olentangy has not played either team this season.

Bradley was 9-11 in the regular season and Bexley was 10-10.

The second-round winner will play at 8 p.m. March 3 against top-seeded Hartley, Lakewood or Columbus South at the Fairgrounds.

In the regular-season finale, Chad Nugen led the Braves with 23 points and Stephen Walczak added 10 points. Nugen, a senior guard, has averaged 16.4 points in his past seven games.

"I think it's more the fact that Stephen has been playing well and that we got Josh back," Nugen said. "When Stephen is on, it opens things up for me and the same thing happens for him when I'm hitting shots."

Orange was seeded 10th in the Division I district tournament and was 14-6 overall before opening with Hilliard Davidson in the first round on Feb. 22.

The winner plays at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25, against 12th-seeded Mount Vernon or Westerville Central in the second round at Bradley. The Pioneers did not play Westerville Central, which ended the regular season 14-6.

Orange split with Mount Vernon, which was 15-5 in the regular season. Orange lost 52-39 at Mount Vernon on Dec. 7 and won 56-48 at home on Jan. 21.

The Pioneers went 9-5 in the OCC-Capital and finished fourth behind champion New Albany (13-1), Delaware (11-3) and Mount Vernon (10-4), and ahead of Bradley (7-7), Big Walnut (4-10) and Franklin Heights and Watkins Memorial (both 1-13).

The second-round winner advances to a district semifinal against third-seeded Upper Arlington, Thomas Worthington or Briggs at 2:30 p.m. March 5 at the Fairgrounds.

The Pioneers lost three of their last four regular-season games, including their final two.

Orange lost at Thomas 51-37 on Feb. 14 as Andy Bosley scored 15 points and Josh Wintermantel added nine points. In the league finale, the Pioneers lost at Delaware 55-44 as Matt Kurelic had 13 points with three 3-pointers and Jordan Combs had nine points.