Nate Griggs of the Delaware Hayes boys basketball team had the ball with 10 seconds left against Thomas Worthington on Jan. 21.

The game was tied at 41, and the host Pacers had a chance to beat one of the OCC-Cardinal Division's more formidable opponents. But the clock was running.

"We didn't call timeout," coach Adam Vincenzo said. "We got (the ball) in his hands and we just played through it."

Griggs, a 6-foot senior point guard, hit a contested shot with 2.4 seconds remaining in regulation and the Pacers won 43-41.

"I was looking at coach to see if he'd call timeout," Griggs said. "He said, 'Just go make a play,' so I made a play."

Griggs had trouble scoring in the first half against the Cardinals, as 15 of his 17 points came in the second half. However, his two points in the first half put him over the 1,000-point milestone for his career.

"To be honest, I didn't know I hit 1,000 until we were all in the huddle and they were like, 'You hit a 1,000.' And I was like, 'What?'" said Griggs, a fourth-year starter. "So I didn't even know, but it was exciting."

"He's put the work in and he deserves moments like that," Vincenzo said. "And he's definitely one who's going to embrace those moments and it's just good to see him get a moment like that."

Griggs has been the 'engine' that has driven Delaware through a second-half turnaround after an 0-5 start to the season. Through 17 games, he was averaging a team-high 15.7 points for the Pacers, who had won seven of eight games and were 10-7 overall and 5-4 in the OCC-Cardinal before playing Hilliard Bradley on Jan. 31.

"He makes us go in a lot of ways," Vincenzo said. "A lot of the things that we do offensively run through him, so obviously he's a key part of the engine that moves us.

"The ball's in his hands a lot. He can get to a lot of places on the floor and creates for us. He distributes (the ball), and he's a pure scorer. He finds ways to get to the rim, he can shoot it, he's just kind of that all-around offensive piece that we need and that we rely on a lot."

Griggs isn't a "rah-rah" type of player, according to his coach. A naturally quiet kid, Griggs prefers to lead by example, and that's something he said he's worked on throughout his career with the Pacers.

"Obviously, my freshman and sophomore year, I didn't really say anything at all, and I didn't really help anybody else or talk to anyone else, really," he said.

"He's the kind of player who wants the ball in his hands when it matters and wants to make a play," Vincenzo said. "He's a guy that's been around the block. He's been starting since he was a freshman, so guys gravitate toward him and respect his leadership abilities and know he's going to lead them to where we want to go."

Griggs, who averaged 15.2 points, 4.1 assists and 5.4 rebounds and was named first-team all-league last season, also has worked on many aspects of his game over the years to become more of an all-around player.

"I would say on defense, too, I used to be a liability. I was small and slow," he said. "But now I've got some quickness to me.

"I used to only be a catch-and-shoot kind of guy. Of course, I was small, so it was kind of hard to get to the rack. Now, I'm actually kind of the opposite. I'm more of a driver and a playmaker now."

Part of the Pacers' slow start to the season was not having Griggs and senior guard Addison Harvey in the lineup.

Griggs suffered a knee injury in a season-opening 52-45 loss to Buckeye Valley on Nov. 29. He missed the next four games before returning to the lineup in a 59-51 win over Worthington Kilbourne on Dec. 20.

Harvey suffered a shoulder injury in a 39-27 loss to Scioto on Dec. 10 and missed the next three games. He returned in a 41-19 win over Wadsworth on Dec. 28.

"We were limited (while Griggs was out)," Vincenzo said. "We were still trying to figure out how to play without him. We still ran a lot of the stuff that we do and who we are offensively, just not having that piece hurt us a little bit."

Girls swimmers place third at OCC meet

The girls swimming and diving team finished third at the OCC-Cardinal meet Jan. 26 at Kenyon College.

The Pacers scored 315 points to finish behind Dublin Jerome (499) and Olentangy Berlin (361) and ahead of Worthington Kilbourne (273), Thomas (185), Hilliard Bradley (157), Hilliard Darby (145) and Dublin Scioto (54).

Mackenzie Carter, Kailyn Smith, Rena Ouyang and Elizabeth Abahazi combined to win the 200-yard freestyle relay in 1 minute, 40.72 seconds and place second in the 200 medley relay (1:52.58).

Carter also captured titles in the 50 free (24.59) and 100 free (54.14) and Smith won the 100 butterfly (59.01).

The boys team finished fifth (180) in the league meet, behind Jerome (543.5), Darby (328), Berlin (257) and Thomas (240) and ahead of Scioto (179.5), Kilbourne (168) and Bradley (69).

Sam Sulek finished first in diving (492.8) and Aidan Stojkov placed third in the 100 backstroke (58.47).

The boys and girls teams will spend this week preparing for the Division I sectional Saturday, Feb. 8, at Thomas Worthington.

The winner of each swimming event and 27 at-large qualifiers in each event based on times from the Central, East and Southeast sectional sites advance to district Feb. 13 at Ohio State. There is no diving at sectional.

Wrestlers thriving in league matches

The wrestling team was 5-0 in OCC-Cardinal duals entering a match against Bradley on Jan. 30.

Before the match against the Jaguars, Clay Ours was 24-6 at 195 pounds, Nathan Robinson was 24-7 at 220, Corbin May was 23-3 at 170, Mason Sutander was 23-3 at 182, Emmett Cain was 21-5 at 160, Tristan Burton was 15-9 at 145 and Tamas Eder was 15-9 at 113.

The Pacers will compete in the Division I team dual tournament Saturday, Feb. 8, at Marysville.

sborgna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSteve

Schedules

Below are the coming schedules for the Delaware Hayes boys basketball, girls basketball, bowling, swimming & diving and wrestling teams:

BOYS BASKETBALL

*Feb. 4 -- Home vs. Worthington Kilbourne. The Pacers defeated the Wolves 59-51 on Dec. 20.

*Feb. 7 -- At Dublin Jerome. The Pacers defeated the Celtics 48-45 on Jan. 7.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

*Feb. 4 -- At Kilbourne. The Pacers lost to the Wolves 58-49 on Dec. 20.

*Feb. 7 -- Home vs. Jerome. The Pacers lost to the Celtics 46-37 on Jan. 7.

BOWLING

Feb. 4 -- Grandview at Sawmill Lanes

Feb. 7 -- Buckeye Valley at Colony Lanes

SWIMMING & DIVING

Feb. 8 -- Division I sectional at Thomas Worthington

WRESTLING

Feb. 8 -- Division I team dual tournament at Marysville

*League contest