The Gahanna Christian Academy boys basketball team's road to a Division IV district semifinal went through Delaware Christian.
The 11th-seeded Eagles were up to the challenge in the second-round tournament game, beating their league rival for the third time this season. The 69-61 victory March 2 technically could be considered an upset, because Delaware Christian was seeded ninth.
Gahanna Christian outscored host Delaware Christian 47-24 in the second and third quarters to take a 57-36 lead. Daniel Nyarko led the team with 23 points, followed by Dylan Sino with 19 and Sloan Howard with 12.
Gahanna Christian won the regular-season matchups 62-61 on Jan. 14 and 76-71 on Feb. 17 to clinch the MOCAL title at 10-2, ahead of runner-up Delaware Christian (9-3).
"We had three games that could have gone either way," coach Paul Hartje said. "All three were decided by less than 10 points.
"I believe this shows the continued improvement of our league and our players, who have a disadvantage in size, resources and opportunities than other divisional teams."
Gahanna Christian was 13-10 overall before playing top-seeded Harvest Prep in a district semifinal March 8. The winner plays second-seeded Grove City Christian or eighth-seeded Newark Catholic in a district final Saturday, March 11, at Bloom-Carroll.
Gahanna Christian did not play Grove City Christian or Newark Catholic this season.
The district champion plays Oregon Clay, Corning Miller, South Webster or Glouster Trimble in a regional semifinal Tuesday, March 14, at Ohio University. Gahanna Christian did not face those potential opponents this season.
The regional final is March 17 at Ohio University.