When the Dublin Scioto High School girls basketball team last played its opening-round opponent in the Division I district tournament, points were at a premium.
The 45-36 loss to Lancaster on Dec. 5 was the Irish's first defeat of the season.
But since that meeting, the teams have gone in different directions, with Scioto finishing the regular season at 15-7 overall with a 56-45 loss to Hilliard Bradley on Feb. 8. The Golden Gales are 11-11.
"I think they're a team that we match up with very well," said coach Matt Fisher, whose 12th-seeded team plays host to 19th-seeded Lancaster at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16. "They're extremely talented and well coached. We lost to them earlier in the season, but we've fixed a lot of our discrepancies since then."
Senior guard Anna Buhigas scored 22 points against Lancaster and is Scioto's top scorer, averaging 15.5 points.
A win over the Gales would advance the Irish to a second-round game against 15th-seeded Dublin Jerome or 18th-seeded Central Crossing at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 20, at a site to be announced.
Jerome won both games against the Irish in OCC-Cardinal Division play, 54-43 on Feb. 1 and 51-48 in overtime Dec. 21. Scioto defeated Central Crossing 52-51 in overtime Jan. 19.
The Irish finished 9-5 in the league to tie Jerome for second, behind Westerville North (14-0) and ahead of Bradley (8-6), Westerville Central (7-7), Westerville South (5-9), Hilliard Darby (4-10) and Worthington Kilbourne (0-14).
Scioto boys team eyes strong finish
The Scioto boys team was hoping to tie the 2008-09 team's mark of 19 regular-season victories.
The Irish were 17-3 overall before playing Reynoldsburg on Feb. 12. They are 10-3 in the OCC-Cardinal entering their league and regular-season finale Friday, Feb. 15, at home against Kilbourne.
Scioto had 19 regular-season victories in 2008-09 when it finished 24-2 overall and lost to Northland in a Division I regional final. The Irish went 11-11 last season, 8-13 in 2010-11 and 5-16 in 2009-10.
The Irish routed Bradley 70-36 on Feb. 8 as four players scored in double figures. Guard Josh Ashwill had 15 points, forward Travis Wehder had 14 and forward Travis Yates and guard Antonio Bisutti each scored 12.
Entering play this week, Scioto trailed league champion Westerville North (12-0) and was ahead of Westerville South (9-4), Darby (7-6), Westerville Central (6-7), Kilbourne (4-9), Jerome (3-9) and Bradley (0-13).
Jerome girls to face Comets
The Jerome girls team finished the regular season 15-7 overall and opens the Division I district tournament Saturday, Feb. 16, at home against Central Crossing.
The Irish are the 15th seed, and the 18th-seeded Comets are 12-9. The teams have not played this season.
The winner plays 12th-seeded Scioto or 19th-seeded Lancaster in the second round Wednesday, Feb. 20, at the home of the better seed.
Scioto is 15-7 overall but was swept by Jerome 51-48 on Dec. 21 and 54-43 on Feb. 1 in OCC-Cardinal play.
In the first round of league play, three senior post players led the way for Jerome with Hannah Gibbs scoring 17 points, Sarah Auker scoring 14 and Katherine McCoy scoring 10.
In the second meeting, junior guard/forward Amanda Kessler led with 16 points, McCoy had 15 and Auker had nine.
Lancaster is 11-11 and did not play the Celtics this season.
On Feb. 8, the Celtics defeated Westerville South 53-33 to tie Scioto for second in the OCC-Cardinal at 9-5, behind Westerville North (14-0).
McCoy scored 20 points and junior post player Madison Watson added seven as the Celtics defeated Worthington Kilbourne 42-34 on Feb. 5.
Jerome boys wrapping up regular season
The Jerome boys team was 5-13 overall before playing Granville on Feb. 12 and is 3-9 in the OCC-Cardinal.
On Friday, Feb. 15, the Celtics play at home against Westerville Central. The Celtics lost the first matchup 68-57 on Jan. 8 as freshman guard Mason Baich scored 16 points and freshman guard Seve Stavroff had 12. Senior post player Kyle Christman and junior forward Connor Kerns both added 11.
Jerome closes the regular season Tuesday, Feb. 19, at Westerville North. The Warriors are 12-0 in the OCC-Cardinal and have clinched the outright title. In the first meeting Jan. 29, Christman and senior guard Matt Holden both scored 12 points in a 53-38 loss.
On Feb. 5, Jerome lost to Kilbourne 52-51 as Christman scored 17 points, Kerns had 12 and Baich added 10.
Kerns scored 23 points and Christman had 14 as the Celtics lost to Westerville South 68-55 on Feb. 8.
Jerome is seeded 32nd in the Division I district tournament and opens Feb. 23 at seventh-seeded Dublin Coffman in the first round.