DELAWARE, Ohio -- In a game that never seemed to tilt too much momentum in favor of either side, Dublin Jerome (12-6) showed us why they’re one of the most well-coached teams in the area tonight in a big win over Delaware Hayes (13-6).
Delaware Hayes found a way to hang around the entire game, however, forcing an overtime tied at 41.
Jerome controlled the overtime since the opening possession, as senior forward Trey Ballengee provided a tough inside score to give them a quick bucket. Locking down the Pacers for the rest of the overtime, Dublin Jerome picked up a big 47-42 league win.
With Hayes mixing up their man and zone looks early on, Jerome took a few possessions to figure things out, but their ball movement helped them jump out to a 13-9 lead after one. The Celtics opened the second with a corner three from senior Luke Schlessel to extend their lead to 16-9, but Delaware Hayes received an instant spark from junior Addison Harvey after.
After scoring nine points in the matter of just several minutes, Harvey helped Delaware Hayes trim the deficit to two, trailing 21-19 with 2:36 to go. Terin Kinsway tied the game at 22 for with his first triple of the night shortly after, but Jerome senior Luke Martin knocked down one of his two clutch three-pointers on the night to give them a 25-22 edge at the break.
The Celtics maintained this three point edge going into the fourth as they led 33-30. A trio of three-pointers to start the final quarter, two of which came from Hayes junior Paul Burris, found us tied up again at 36 with 4:12 to go.
Senior forward Cam Kerns scored four unanswered points after, but a big and-one from Griggs cut the Jerome lead to 40-39 with 2:38 to go.
With the game tied at 41 after several free-throws, Jerome held the ball for the last minute, only to miss a tough look and send the game to overtime.
Using tough defense and excellent free-throw shooting to come out on top in the extra frame, two big shots at the stripe from junior Dan Lee sealed the game for Jerome.
Hayes struggled to find a go-to option all night. Griggs led them with 12 points, but was limited in the second half due to early foul troubles. Harvey finished the game with 11 points (all in the first half) and Burris and Kinsway scored nine points a piece.
For Jerome, they received an excellent team showing as they won with just one player in double figures. Trey Ballengee finished with 12, and Lee was right behind him with seven points. Martin and Kerns also contributed six points a piece.
The Celtics are back at it tomorrow as they travel to Perrysburg for an intriguing test.
Trey Ballengee (6’4 WF / Dublin Jerome / 2019): Despite scoring only 12 points in the contest, Ballengee was the leading scorer for Jerome tonight and turned in a solid offensive showing in a game which was more defensive-minded. His IQ is through the roof, as he made several decisive reads of the Hayes zone all night but also does not miss the simple play when it is there. He showed off great vision all night, which was made even more impressive due to the fact that he did both out of the high post and the perimeter. Ballengee always seems to recognize something before it happens, as he was a step ahead of the Hayes defense all night no matter whether they were in man or zone. He dropped off a number off good dimes to perimeter shooters out of the high post and made a number of great reads on the perimeter, whether it was by making the skip pass or finding an open teammate under the rim. He showed the ability to score in a couple of different ways as he knocked down a three-pointer, hit a tough post turnaround, and finished off tough looks around the rim.
He played in the middle of the Jerome zone that they moved to in the second half and did an excellent job holding down the paint for the Celtics. Using his long frame which does not lack strength, he kept the Pacers on the perimeter for most of the second half and forced them to win that way. He does a solid job of being vocal on this side of the ball as well, communicating with every player on the Jerome defense when in the back line. He grabbed two steals in the Jerome press tonight too and did so by making high IQ plays and jumping into passing lanes when the opportunity presented itself.
With all of that being said, Trey is just about as good of a Division III ready player that you will find in the area and he could became a solid piece to any one of these programs in need of a strong win. It’s no secret what you’re getting in Ballengee, as he will be extremely coachable in order to develop.
Nate Griggs (5’11 PG / Delaware Hayes / 2020): Despite being plagued with foul trouble that began late in the second quarter, Griggs but on a good showing tonight, mainly in the first two quarters. An quick ball-handler with a great handle, he broke the Jerome press on many occasions tonight and used this to get into the lane. He displays an excellent first step and combines good ball fakes and headfakes to keep his defender on their heels at all times. Drawing help defenders in the lane all night, we were really impressed with the vision that Nate showed off as he made several high-level passes that I didn’t see coming at all. We didn’t see him hit any three’s tonight, but Griggs did a hit a smooth mid-range pull up and barely misfired on a triple, proving that the outside shot is there.
Griggs was limited on defense tonight due to the Pacers playing zone for the majority of the night, but we really liked what we saw from the junior on offense. A crafty guard who is still unveiling his potential on both sides of the ball, it should be interesting to see how he takes this team over next season as a senior.