Grove City High School boys basketball coach Greg Waits downplayed having to face another South-Western City Schools program in the first round of the Division I district tournament.

Grove City High School boys basketball coach Greg Waits downplayed having to face another South-Western City Schools program in the first round of the Division I district tournament.

Instead, Waits' attention is focused on the fact that his team has been playing its best basketball heading into the postseason.

Grove City closed the regular season by beating Westerville Central 70-65 on Feb. 14 and Pickerington North 60-47 on Feb. 17.

The 10th-seeded Greyhounds will face 27th-seeded Westland in their tournament opener at 7:45 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, at Marysville.

"This gives us a lot of momentum going into the tournament because the week before we had a really tough week against two really good teams (losing to Gahanna 71-62 on Feb. 7 and Pickerington Central 74-63 on Feb. 10) and then came back (to beat) two really good teams," Waits said. "Our kids stepped up and rose to the occasion, gave great effort and got two big wins."

"We play a lot better when we have a lot of confidence and these wins are going to help us big time," senior point guard Jimmy Gravett said.

The Grove City-Westland winner will play 17th-seeded Hilliard Davidson or 23rd-seeded Thomas Worthington in the second round March 1 at Marysville.

Davidson and Thomas each enter the tournament at 11-9.

The Greyhounds defeated Westland 64-47 last season and 83-59 in the 2009-10 season.

The Cougars improved to 10-10 by beating Central Crossing 52-46 on Feb. 17. Kersey Long led the Cougars with 15 points, Will White scored 11 and J.J. Smith added 10.

Another key player for the Cougars is 6-foot-7 senior center Kris Carius, who shares the team lead in scoring with Long at 11.9 points per game. Smith is averaging 10.5.

"As far as we're concerned it's just another game, and we are looking forward to the challenge of playing a very well-coached, hard-working team," Waits said about playing a school-district rival.

"Westland is extremely athletic," he said. "They get up and down the court. They do a great job coaching their kids and they play really hard."

"We have to have a good start, which will definitely build our confidence, and then we have to challenge their 3-point shooters," Westland coach Todd Parker said. "And I know that coach Waits likes their kids to go up and down, so we'll have to be able to transition both ways, offensively and defensively."

The Greyhounds improved to 14-6 overall by beating North, completing a regular-season sweep of the Panthers. Grove City won 71-49 on Jan. 13.

In the rematch, Brad Saxton led the Greyhounds with 18 points.

"Any time you can beat Pick North twice in a season, you have to realize that your kids played really well," Waits said.

Grove City tied Gahanna for third in the OCC-Ohio Division at 8-6, behind Pickerington Central (13-1) and Newark (11-3).

•Central Crossing finished the regular season 0-20 and will play top-seeded Northland in the first round of the Division I district tournament at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23, at Marysville.

The winner will play Columbus West on Wednesday, Feb. 29, at Marysville.

The Comets are seeded 41st.

"We came together as a family this year," senior Ricky Morgan said. "Even though we had dark times, we all came together, we all played hard and that's all that really matters to me and the seniors on the team. We never gave up and all gave it a lot of fight."

Northland won its sixth consecutive City League title by beating Walnut Ridge 66-55 on Feb. 18 at Columbus East.

The Vikings are 19-1 and ranked first in the Division I state poll.

Senior Devon Scott led Northland with 23 points and senior Jalen Robinson added 14 in the City title game. Both will play at the University of Dayton.

Other key players for Northland are Jordan Potts and Ke'Chaun Lewis. Potts will play at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro.

"Northland is a great basketball team," Central Crossing coach Mike Cavey said. "We'll go out, play the game and I know our kids will give a great effort."