After a 57-37 win over Westerville North last Friday to stay atop the OCC-Cardinal Division standings, Dublin Scioto High School girls basketball coach Todd Hardesty knew the 20-point victory wasn't pretty.

After a 57-37 win over Westerville North last Friday to stay atop the OCC-Cardinal Division standings, Dublin Scioto High School girls basketball coach Todd Hardesty knew the 20-point victory wasn't pretty.

Scioto had a 15-point lead by the end of the first quarter but seemed to struggle with its intensity. Not only that, the Irish were 12 of 24 from the free-throw line.

The victory just didn't feel right.

"We've got to get beyond that because if we don't, we won't get to where we want to be," Hardesty said. "At 17-2 let's close the deal, and clearly we did not. The last three quarters it was a five-point game."

A day later, the Irish allowed a season-high point total in a 61-60 overtime loss to undefeated Del-aware to drop to 5-1 overall. Scioto outscored the Pacers 12-6 in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 55.

"We've won most of our games pretty solidly, but games like this might hurt us come tournament time," junior guard Katie Papesh said, referring to the win over North which improved the Irish to 4-0 in the league before last Tuesday's game at Westerville Central. "We have to play every game like it's the biggest game, which we didn't do (against North)."

Papesh led all scorers with 20 points, including four 3-pointers, against Delaware. The Pacers' Brittany Skeens made three 3-pointers and scored 17 points.

Before last Saturday, Scioto had allowed no more than 40 points. Its offense has been tested with everything from zone to man-to-man defenses, but no team has found the right formula to slow the Irish.

Scioto before last Tuesday was averaging about 61 points.

"Our kids don't get rattled by what they see and they have seen it all," Hardesty said. "We basically take the attitude of give us what you want, and when we execute, we're good. When we don't, we're not very good."

Scioto will face a stingy man-to-man defense Tuesday in a non-league contest at Hilliard Darby, which improved to 4-1 overall with last Friday's 55-41 win over Upper Arlington. Before last Tuesday's game against Dublin Coffman, the Panthers were holding opponents to 36.5 points per game.

Undersized, Darby has been successful with a strategy that keeps opponents out of the paint. That will be more difficult with Scioto's long-range threats in seniors Blair Gorniak and Kesi Hess.

"We'll definitely look to close out tight," Darby coach Chris Maul said. "We need to pressure the ball and we'll need to have great help. I think with some of those teams that are so talented like Scioto you've got to pick your poison. The name of the game for us is to take away the easy scores."

The Panthers are led by senior guard Shanee` Jackson, a Ball State recruit who scored a career-high 26 against UA. Darby's defense thrives on limiting opponents to one shot.

"With us, I think a lot of it depends on how we dictate the offense," Papesh said. "We're definitely going to have to play a lot smarter."

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Scioto boys and girls basketball teams:

BOYS

*Last Friday -- Defeated Westerville North 52-29. Bradley McDougald had 15 points.

*Last Tuesday -- Played Westerville Central

Tuesday -- At Independence

Of note: The Irish were 4-1 overall and 3-0 in the OCC-Cardinal before last Tuessday.

GIRLS

*Last Friday -- Def. Westerville North 57-37. Scioto led 17-2 after the first quarter.

Last Saturday -- Lost to Delaware 61-60 (OT). The Pacers remained unbeaten. Katie Papesh scored 20 for Scioto.

*Last Tuesday -- Played Westerville Central

Tuesday -- At Hilliard Darby

Of note: The Irish were 5-1 overall and 4-0 in the OCC-Cardinal before last Tuesday.

*OCC-Cardinal game