Delaware Hayes Roundup: Pacers girls basketball team proud of 'solid year'

Stephen Borgna
ThisWeek group
Junior forward Sophie Midura was honorable mention all-league for Delaware Hayes, which finished 14-8 overall and tied for second in the OCC-Capital Division at 9-5.

The Delaware Hayes girls basketball team started the season strongly, going 6-2 before enduring a 2-5 stretch that included a four-game losing streak.

But the Pacers then reversed course and won six of their last seven games, finishing 14-8 overall and tying Westerville South for second (9-5) in the OCC-Capital Division behind Westerville North (12-2). 

“I thought we had a solid year,” coach Lou Tiberi said. “We had a stretch toward the middle of the season where we lost four games in a row and things just weren’t going our way, and the girls turned it around.” 

The season ended in the first round of the Division I district tournament, when the 17th-seeded Pacers lost to visiting and 27th-seeded Canal Winchester 61-52 on Feb. 17. Delaware had defeated the Indians twice in league play, 42-37 on Jan. 8 and 49-40 on Feb. 12.

“It was a sour note to end on,” Tiberi said. “We were on a roll going into the tournament and just kind of had a bad night, but I was really pleased that they turned it around and were able to right the ship at that point. You lose four in a row and you start thinking, ‘This could really end badly.’ ” 

The Pacers lose three seniors, including leading scorer Alexis Amabile, a guard who averaged 19.2 points and was first-team all-league and second-team all-district. She finished her career with 1,154 points. 

“I am very proud of my team and the tough games we were able to win during this crazy year,” Amabile said. “The tournament game didn’t end how we wanted it, obviously, but I am very proud and thankful I got to be part of such an amazing and growing program. I wish them the best of luck moving forward and cannot wait to see where they continue to take it.” 

Junior guard Chloe Jeffers averaged 13.4 points and was second-team all-league and honorable mention all-district, and junior forward Sophie Midura was honorable mention all-league. 

Other top returnees should be junior guards Sophia Nice and Taylor Shumaker, sophomore guard Myah Byers, sophomore forward Sara Dudley and sophomore post player Porter Barickman, who averaged a team-leading 6.4 rebounds. 

Junior forward Jacob Enke (right) and junior guard C.J. Holmes (left) are part of a large group of expected returnees for the Pacers.

Boys team grew

throughout season

While the boys basketball team finished 5-14 overall and 3-7 in the OCC-Capital, it gained valuable experience and played numerous close games.

In the Division I district tournament, the 40th-seeded Pacers lost 45-43 at 32nd-seeded Marion Harding in the first round Feb. 23.

“We were young, and of our 14 losses, we had eight one-possession games,” coach Adam Vincenzo said. “A lot of learning and growth went on throughout this season, and a lot of our youth was getting experience in big games and a lot of close games, so we’re definitely hoping that’s going to pay off down the road.” 

The Pacers lose three seniors, including Ryan Smudz, a guard who averaged 11.6 points and was special mention all-league.

Freshman forward Jesse Burris averaged a team-high 14.3 points and was second-team all-league and honorable mention all-district.

Also expected to return are junior forwards Jacob Enke, Jayson Enke and Ryan Polter, junior guard C.J. Holmes, sophomore guards Hezekiah Russell and Anthony Wilson and freshman forward Jake Lowman (honorable mention all-league). 

Ours advances

to state tourney 

Clay Ours qualified for the Division I state wrestling tournament by placing third at 195 pounds at district March 6 and 7 at Hilliard Darby.

Ours defeated Ben Bickerstaff of Marysville 12-3 in the third-place match. The top four finishers in each weight class advanced to state March 13 and 14 at Darby. 

Devin Halliday placed fifth at 160, making him a state alternate.

Brian Beal (220), Cannon Cavazos (182), Tamas Eder (126), Maddox Edwards (170), Marshall Klingel (heavyweight) and Wilson Zembo (145) also competed at district for Delaware, which finished 13th (44) behind champion Dublin Coffman (228.5) as 40 teams scored.

sborgna@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSteve

BOYS BASKETBALL 

Record: 5-14 overall

OCC-Capital standings: Worthington Kilbourne (12-2), Westerville South (8-2), Canal Winchester (8-5), Big Walnut (7-5), Westerville North (6-7), Delaware (3-7), Dublin Scioto (2-8), Franklin Heights (2-12) 

Seniors lost: Jack Rodgers, Armond Rose-Miles and Ryan Smudz

Key returnees: Jesse Burris, Jacob Enke, Jayson Enke, C.J. Holmes, Jake Lowman, Ryan Polter, Hezekiah Russell and Anthony Wilson

Postseason: Lost to Marion Harding 45-43 in first round of Division I district tournament 

GIRLS BASKETBALL 

Record: 14-8 overall

OCC-Capital standings: North (12-2), Delaware and South (both 9-5), Dublin Scioto (7-6), Kilbourne (7-7), Big Walnut (6-8), Canal Winchester (5-8), Franklin Heights (0-14)

Seniors lost: Alexis Amabile, Alyssa Griner and Telijah McCollum

Key returnees: Porter Barickman, Myah Byers, Sara Dudley, Chloe Jeffers, Sophie Midura, Sophia Nice and Taylor Shumaker

Postseason: Lost to Canal Winchester 61-52 in first round of Division I district tournament