Not surprisingly, this tightly-contested Ohio Capital Conference Capital Division neighborhood rivalry came down to overtime, with Scioto handing first-year coach Tony Anderson a signature victory.
By Jarrod Ulrey for Press Pros
Dublin, OH – Considering the two matchups between Dublin Scioto and Worthington Kilbourne were decided by a combined three points a year ago, it proved fitting that their Ohio Capital Conference Capital Division meeting Friday went into overtime.
The two teams lost a combined 30 games last season, but the Wolves came in unbeaten and the host Irish were off to a competitive start under first-year coach Tony Anderson.
During their first meeting of the 2023-24 season, a short jumper by Kilbourne’s Zach Wolford that would have tied it bounced out just before the clock expired in overtime as Scioto came away with a 50-48 victory in the Battle of Hard Road.
“This is our rivalry game, and we’ve had some rough games against them in the past couple years, so we came out with some heavy motivation to beat them,” Scioto senior Kaden Haywood said. “At halftime, we talked about turning it up, but mostly we spent a lot of time in the summer conditioning, so we’re used to being able to run past other teams. That’s what we’ve trained ourselves to do. Overall, I think we have a lot more people that are bought into the program and are willing to work harder.”
Scioto, which improved to 2-1 overall and 1-1 in the league, while the Wolves dropped to 3-1 overall and 1-1 in the league, trailed nearly the entire first half but turned the tide in the third quarter.
After the Irish fell behind, 25-20, at the half, Haywood turned a steal into a dunk, senior guard Cam Cannon followed with a 3-pointer and Haywood completed two more dunks during the third period as Scioto outscored Kilbourne 16-7.
Wolford scored with 2:32 remaining in the fourth quarter to cut the Irish’s lead to 42-40 and Wolves sophomore forward Ben Davis scored off a pass from senior Te’Mar Lewis with 36 seconds to tie it.
Lewis missed what would have been a game-winning shot at the end of regulation as Scioto forced overtime.
“In the third quarter, we had kind of a mindset that we had to attack them and make it a full-court game,” said Anderson, who had been an assistant at Thomas Worthington for the last 15 years. “That’s how we play the best, and again, that’s what we take seriously at halftime. We’ve got to force the tempo, whether that’s running, trapping defense or putting pressure on the ball and making them go to the weak hand.”
In overtime, Scioto junior guard Isiah Pearson scored with 52 seconds to go for what would prove to be the game’s final points. Cannon missed a pair of free throws with 27 seconds left and Lewis missed what would have been a game-tying shot with 15 seconds to go.
“Some balls went our way, some balls didn’t,” said Kilbourne coach Ron Lewis, who starred on Columbus Brookhaven’s great teams of the early 2000s before embarking on a stellar career at Ohio State.
“We did everything we needed to do to win the game. We missed two shots at the end. You can’t be mad at those shots because they were good looks. We may have had some turnovers in the third quarter and fourth quarter. I think it was just us being more indecisive when they did change up their defense. It wasn’t their pressure that got us. Our guys handled it well, but it was us being more indecisive. It’s something we can work on.”
Scioto, which opened league play with a 76-64 loss to Westerville South after leading the Wildcats at halftime, got 15 points from Haywood and 11 from senior Winsten Lomax against the Wolves, while Foster scored eight and Cannon and Pearson both finished with seven.
“Even though we went down at the half, we talked about it as a team that we had to stay in the game, not get too high or get too low,” Foster said.
“Playing through overtime is a high-pressure situation of course, and for us to hit shots when they’re needed is the most important part. It gives us a lot of confidence that we can close out close games and important games.”
Lewis, son of the head coach, finished with 14 points, sophomore guard Brylan Brown had 13 and Wolford added 12 for the Wolves, who continue league action Dec. 19 at unbeaten Delaware Hayes.
“This is a resilient group and they love to fight back,” Ron Lewis said. “They’ve stuck with it and we’re going to keep doing it.”