For the first time since 2004, the Central Crossing High School girls basketball team will play in the second round of the Division I district tournament, with a chance to advance to its first district semifinal.

For the first time since 2004, the Central Crossing High School girls basketball team will play in the second round of the Division I district tournament, with a chance to advance to its first district semifinal.

All the Comets have to do is beat ninth-seeded Watterson today in the second round at Dublin Jerome. That isn't going to be easy, but getting the opportunity to achieve a program-first wasn't lost on the Comets after a 40-38 win over Zanesville in the first round Feb. 19 at Westerville Central.

"Going into the season, you always want to do better than you've done before," said guard Whitney Fullen, whose layup with five seconds left against Zanesville put the Comets ahead for good. "As seniors, we wanted to be that class that does well. We wanted to be that team to remember that we did the unexpected."

Watterson won the CCL and played a schedule more comparable to that of Central Crossing than Zanesville had played. The Blue Devils played four games against Division I teams in the regular season. The Eagles, who play in a league in which the rest of the teams are in Division II and III, have played nine Division I opponents, including a 58-30 win over Westerville Central on Feb. 19 in the first round of the district tournament.

The Eagles are 19-2 and are have won nine in a row. Their last loss was to DeSales 65-56 on Jan. 10.

Watterson is led inside by post player Daiva Gerbec, who is averaging 14 points, 10 rebounds and 4.5 blocks. She'll be the main focal point for forwards Olivia Davis and Dakota Matthews.

Coach Sarah Chevalier said one of the main points during practice leading up to today's game would be playing stronger underneath the basket, something the Comets struggled with against Zanesville. Chevalier substituted freely whenever the Comets gave up an offensive rebound.

"Our defensive rebounding wasn't very good," she said. "We have to box out and be more physical. That's something we're going to have to work on for the next game."

Gerbec had 17 points against Central, but the Eagles will try to balance the scoring between Gerbec, Courtney Haley and Melissa Gilliland. Haley had 15 points against Central, and Gerbec and Haley were the two leading scorers for the team last year that defeated Central Crossing 37-34 in the first round of the district tournament. The Eagles lost three starters from that team, but Gerbec led all scorers with 11 points.

•Grove City played Independence last Wednesday in the second round, with the winner to play in a district semifinal Wednesday at Olentangy Orange against Watterson or Central Crossing. The winner of that contest will play top-seeded Coffman, Gahanna, Newark or Olentangy in a district final March 7 at Orange.

Grove City defeated Franklin Heights 62-21 in the first round Feb. 18.

The Greyhounds were seeking their first trip to a district semifinal since 2001, which was the last time Grove City won a district championship.

Last year the Greyhounds lost to Gahanna 58-42 in the second round after beating Newark 61-39 in the first round.

Now that three Grove City sophomores started tournament games last year, the Greyhounds have been able to approach this year's postseason with a better perspective, coach Dale Corbett said.

"Last year it was more of a situation where they were a little wide-eyed," Corbett said. "Now they can look at the tournament bracket and get a little excited about who they could possibly play."

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Central Crossing and Grove City girls basketball teams:

Feb. 18 -- Def. Franklin Heights 62-21 in first round of Division I district tournament. Ayrealle Beavers scored 11 points.

Last Wednesday -- Played Independence in second round. The winner to play ninth-seeded Watterson or Central Crossing in a district semifinal Wednesday at Orange. The winner of that contest will play Coffman, Gahanna, Newark or Olentangy in a district final March 7 at Orange.

Of note: The Greyhounds were 17-4 before last Wednesday.

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedules for the Central Crossing girls basketball team:

Feb. 19 -- Defeated Zanesville 40-38 in the first round of Division I district tournament. Whitney Fullen scored 15 points and Ganea Pleasant had 10.

Today -- At Dublin Jerome vs. ninth-seeded Watterson in second round. The winner will play eighth-seeded Grove City or Independence in a district semifinal Wednesday at Olentangy Orange. The winner of that contest will play top-seeded Dublin Coffman, Gahanna, Newark or Olentangy in a district final March 7 at Orange.

Of note: The Comets are 13-8.