A hot first half from long range and an almost perfect night overall from the free-throw line proved to be a winning combination for the Newark High School boys basketball team Dec. 11 at Gahanna Lincoln.

A hot first half from long range and an almost perfect night overall from the free-throw line proved to be a winning combination for the Newark High School boys basketball team Dec. 11 at Gahanna Lincoln.

In a matchup of two teams that shared the OCC-Ohio Division championship each of the past two seasons, the biggest lead both teams had was seven, but it was the Wildcats who came away with a 65-61 victory.

While Newark is 2-2 overall and Gahanna is 4-1 overall, both teams are 2-1 in the league.

"It was a huge win for us, the first one on the road," Wildcats junior forward B.J. Duling said. "We just got it done and we're super pumped about it."

The Wildcats made eight of their first nine attempts from 3-point range and led 31-30 at halftime.

Then in the second half, Duling made two 3s, including one with 7 minutes, 2 seconds remaining to give the Wildcats a 43-41 lead. He added a powerful dunk with 5:45 to go for a 45-42 lead.

Although Duling fouled out with 3:13 left after scoring a game-high 20 points, his teammates stepped up.

During the final period, the Wildcats committed six turnovers but also made all 12 of their foul shots. They shot 15-for-16 from the free-throw line overall.

"With some of the plays in the fourth quarter they were just sharing the ball," Newark coach Jeff Quackenbush said. "Our kids did a good job of running the offense and playing in space."

Kobe Long-Weber added 14 points for the Wildcats, including going 4-for-5 from 3-point range.

Nick Ward had 17 points, Warren Yates scored 15 and Junior Arrey added 13 for the Lions, who shot just 15-for-27 from the free-throw line.

"You've got to give credit to Newark for hitting 10 3s and hitting free throws down the stretch," Lions coach Tony Staib said.

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Team 1 2 3 4 Final NEWARK 16 15 9 25 65 GAHANNA LINCOLN 19 11 11 20 61