COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A late run in the fourth quarter that was capped off by baskets from Olentangy Liberty seniors Henry Hinkle and Andrew Wade sealed the deal as the Patriots defeated Upper Arlington on the road, 60-46.
It was a complete team effort for the Patriots on Tuesday night as they had four players in double figures. Wade and Hinkle, along with senior Tylar Foster and junior Cooper Davis combined for 52 of their team’s 60 points.
In the loss, junior Nick Heath played a fantastic game and kept his squad in the game until the very end, leading the Golden Bears with 21 points on five threes.
Olentangy Liberty came out of the gates firing on offense and played with great intensity on defense. Davis was hot to start the game, knocking down two first quarter threes that helped put his team up early.
The Patriots defense was locked in during that first quarter, preventing the Bears from getting a shot up on the final possession. The Liberty bench was hyped up as they carried an 18-11 lead into the second quarter.
They couldn’t keep the momentum however, as Upper Arlington settled in during the second quarter and made a run just before halftime. Heath began his scoring in the second as he buried two threes of his own and added a great drive and finish to his highlight reel.
After scoring the ball much easier and stopping Liberty’s offensive attack in the second quarter, the Bears still trailed 24-23 going into halftime.
The third quarter was more back and forth action as the teams traded buckets left and right. Heath made two more triples for Upper Arlington and had two excellent finishes, giving him 10 points in the quarter alone. Liberty however still took a 38-37 lead into the final quarter.
The fourth quarter was where Liberty proceeded to take control of the game. Led by their trio of seniors, Foster, Wade, and Hinkle, the Patriots jumped out to a big lead in a matter of seconds by forcing turnovers and getting out in transition on missed shots.
Olentangy Liberty (7-2) returns to action on Friday as they travel to Olentangy Orange. Upper Arlington (3-3) will travel to Hilliard Davidson on Friday where they will look to bounce back after tonight’s defeat.
Nick Heath (6’3 W / Upper Arlington / 2022): Heath was the game’s leading scorer Tuesday night with a very impressive 21 points. Despite the loss, the 6-foot-3 junior had arguably the best game of anyone on the floor. Heath scored in a variety of ways and he did it efficiently. He showed his accuracy from long range by knocking down five threes on the night. They weren’t just catch-and-shoots either as the junior hit a couple running off of screens. He also showed his strength and athleticism as he attacked the basket and finished up over or through his defenders quite often on contested shots. Heath played within the offense well, not forcing anything and finding open teammates on dump-offs and kick outs. We were very impressed with the performance tonight.
Andrew Wade (6’6 F / Olentangy Liberty / 2021): Despite not having many touches tonight, Wade was the most dominant player on the floor. Almost every possession he touched the ball ended up in points, whether from a made shot or from the line. Wade had the clear size advantage over anyone on Upper Arlington’s roster, but that’s not to take away from his great performance. The 6-foot-6 senior was finishing everywhere around the rim tonight, it didn’t matter what the Bears did. He showed off his offensive skills with a great spin move and score, as well as his soft touch with his finishing inside. Wade ended his 14 point performance with a strong fourth quarter where he helped seal the victory for Liberty by scoring three late buckets and making his free throws. A dominant performance out of one of the Patriots’ leaders tonight.
Henry Hinkle (6’0 PG / Olentangy Liberty / 2021): Liberty’s point guard didn’t get in the scoring column until the second half tonight, but he still affected the game in many ways that helped his team win. He was distributing the ball to his teammates early for scores in their successful start to the game. He also was playing great on defense, coming up with a steal due to his active hands and stepping over to take a charge. Hinkle scored all 10 of his points in the second half when he drained two impressive threes, one which was heavily contested and one cold-blooded dagger which essentially put the game away. It was an all around great performance for the senior point guard.
Tylar Foster (6’3 G / Olentangy Liberty / 2021): Foster was Liberty’s leading scorer tonight with 17 points. The senior was consistent all night for his team, scoring in every quarter and when it mattered most. He started the early dominance for the Patriots by scoring eight in the first frame that included two big steals leading to and-ones in transition. He kept up the solid play all game, defending, rebounding, and scoring more in the final run that helped give Liberty the win. The 6-foot-3 guard showed toughness and effort that will be vital to Liberty’s success going forward.
Cooper Davis (6’4 WG / Olentangy Liberty / 2022): Davis has one of the best jumpers in the area, he cannot be left open. He is a scoring machine that compliments Hinkle and Wade’s games very well. The six-foot-four wing knocked down two early threes that were very impressive. One was contested a couple feet behind the line and the other was a step back with a hand in his face, neither hit the rim. He isn’t just limited to threes behind the line either, as he had an incredibly strong finish through contact that resulted in an and-one. Davis finished the game perfect from the line as well. The junior’s 11 points weren’t overwhelming, however he played an all around solid game that is worth mentioning. He will be a key part of Liberty’s success if they want to make some noise in the postseason.