Delta could muster just two first half field goals as they trailed by 24 points at the half, and while they gained a little ground in the second half, the Panthers still fell 49-31 at home to Liberty Center Thursday in Northwest Ohio Athletic League boys basketball.
Hitting the lone shots before halftime for Delta were Bryce Gillen and James Ruple in the second quarter. In the first quarter Delta’s Nolan Risner hit four free throws.
However, Liberty Center closed the first period on a 13-0 run.
Breaking the 4-4 tie was the Tigers’ Aiden Hammontree who swished a jumper, then Isaiah Estelle hit 1 of 2 from the foul line. A Jake Spieth 3-pointer from the corner off an inbounds play and another triple by Hammontree extended the Tiger lead at 13-4, forcing a Panther timeout with 3:03 left in the period.
LC made it 17-4 after the first when Estelle and Hammontree scored buckets inside in the final 1:25.
The Panthers and Tigers exchanged hoops on the first several possessions of the second quarter, until Estelle’s response to a Ruple jumper and Hammontree’s hoop put them up 17, 25-8, at the 4:35 mark.
Hammontree’s score was the start of a 10-1 run to close the half, culminating with the Tigers carrying a 33-9 advantage into the break. He notched 7 of the 10 points during the stretch.
Delta did outscore LC 22-16 after half, but it wasn’t enough to overcome their first half struggles.
Stryker’s fast start dooms Delta
Stryker ran out to a 15-0 lead in the first quarter, then extended it to as much as 22, before settling for a 45-32 win over Delta Saturday.
Stryker got three consecutive triples — two from Teyvon Harris and another by Jacob Cadwell to start the run.
Peyton Cioffi and Elijah Juillard had putbacks off Panther misses and Cadwell added a steal-and-score before Nolan Risner stopped the run with two free throws for Delta.
After staying up double figures at 19-8 at the break, Stryker finished the third quarter with a 12-3 burst to go up 35-15.
Juillard, Cioffi and then Cioffi again scored to put Stryker ahead 29-12, then after Bryce Gillen’s deep triple, Juillard got loose for two layups and Mateo Villanueva had another for a 20-point margin going into the fourth.
Villanueva’s basket to open the last stanza gave Stryker their largest lead before James Ruple got a three-point play, then Risner, Dakota Davis and Justin Ruple each hit a 3-pointer to cut into the Stryker lead in the fourth.
Delta shot just 10-32 for the game while Stryker was 21-39, including 13-17 in the second half when the Panthers got numerous layups.
Stryker also had 15 turnovers to Delta’s 14 — seven of those Stryker miscues coming in the final eight minutes.
Risner had 13 points for Delta. Juillard scored 14 and Cioffi 10 in a well-balanced Stryker attack.
Delta (3-5, 0-1 NWOAL) travels to Evergreen Friday night.