The sixth-seeded Beechcroft High School boys basketball team held off upset-minded and defensive-oriented Hilliard Darby 53-42 on Friday in a second-round Division I district tournament game at Harvest Prep.

The sixth-seeded Beechcroft High School boys basketball team held off upset-minded and defensive-oriented Hilliard Darby 53-42 on Friday in a second-round Division I district tournament game at Harvest Prep.

The Panthers held one of the district's top scorers, Josh Gouch, to 11 points and the Cougars to a season-low point total but couldn't put together enough consistent offense.

Darby never led but got as close as 40-38 with 6 minutes, 49 seconds remaining before Beechcroft scored back-to-back baskets over the next minute to reestablish control.

The Cougars advance to a district semifinal at 10 a.m. March 7 in the Fairgrounds Coliseum against fifth-seeded Dublin Coffman, which overcame a 16-point deficit in the fourth quarter to defeat Groveport 71-67.

"That's the best anybody's guarded us this year," Cougars coach Scott Davis said. "They are a very, very good defensive team, and we had to work for everything we got tonight."

Dominique Freeman scored 18 points and Andrew Devlin and Daijuon Bridges both added six for Beechcroft, which improved to 17-4. Devlin also added a pair of key blocked shots over the final four minutes to help the Cougars hold on.

Matt Cyrus scored 13, Marquis Copeland added 12 and Dylan Rudy scored 11 for the Panthers, who finished 10-12.

"We didn't shoot it well enough," Darby coach Brett Norris said. "That's been our bug-a-boo all year. We knew we couldn't play up-and-down with them, and I thought we did a great job defensively. We just shot it horribly in the first half and then when it was 40-38 they made a couple big plays."