Coming off their field after a 13-8 win over Westerville Central in the first round of the Division I, Region 2 tournament last Saturday, the players from the Hilliard Davidson High School boys lacrosse team were excited.

Coming off their field after a 13-8 win over Westerville Central in the first round of the Division I, Region 2 tournament last Saturday, the players from the Hilliard Davidson High School boys lacrosse team were excited.

They sprinted to ring the victory bell, and after huddling up as a group, mostly players hung around taking congratulations from parents and classmates.

But coach Jason Godwin said it still might take some time for the magnitude of this season's accomplishments to sink in fully. The Wildcats, who were 0-15 two years ago, improved to 12-7.

"I don't think they realize yet," Godwin said. "To me, it's amazing. At Division I, (12 wins) has never happened in this program."

Davidson advanced to a regional semifinal last Wednesday against Dublin Jerome. The winner will play Saturday against Worthington Kilbourne or St. Charles in a regional final.

The higher seeded team will play at home. Davidson is seeded third, Kilbourne is first and St. Charles is fourth.

Kilbourne, which knocked Davidson out last season in a regional semifinal 19-7, was 16-1 before last Wednesday. Kilbourne beat Davidson 16-5 on April 22. St. Charles, which Davidson beat 9-8 on April 8, was 10-5 before last Wednesday.

The winner of the regional final will play Tuesday at Upper Arlington against Hudson, North Canton Hoover, Medina or Cleveland St. Ignatius in a state semifinal.

Against Central, Davidson controlled the game from the outset even though it was not able to pull away until the fourth quarter. The Wildcats never trailed, but the tide appeared that it might turn when the Warhawks had a two-man advantage for a minute late in the third quarter trailing 6-4. The Wildcats were able to kill the penalty, however, and Drew Morrison added a goal with eight seconds remaining to make the score 7-4.

The win was the fifth consecutive for Davidson, which improved its record in May to 7-1. Attacker Sky Strahler, who had three goals and two assists, said the Wildcats are approaching games not just hoping to win, but expecting to win.

"We expect to win," Strahler said. "We're on a streak. We're acting like we know what winning feels like."

• Darby lost to top-seeded Thomas Worthington 17-5 in the first round last Saturday.

The Panthers held tough early, but trailed 11-2 by halftime.

Darby finished 3-13 overall and eighth in the OCC-Buckeye Division at 0-6 behind champion Kilbourne (7-0). Second-year coach Joe Wilt said he believes the team is moving in the right direction. The Panthers last year went 2-14 and 0-7.

"It was definitely a step forward," Wilt said. "It wasn't like a giant leap forward, but a lot of the progress we made I think was in the general morale of the team, as well as kind of defining some goals for the future. It's just going to having fun playing lacrosse, but also being dedicated to it."

The Panthers have some challenges ahead of them as they will lose 24 of 45 players in the program, including seniors and underclassmen moving to Bradley. Among those seniors are attacker Nick Liddil, the program's all-time leading scorer, and midfielder Austin Bragg, who had twice as many groundballs as the next player on the team. Liddil had 53 goals this season, giving him 156 for his career.

Some other key losses will include starting goalie Adam Rybinski, attacker Chris Howard, the second-leading scorer with 19 goals, and starting defender Collin Moore.

Wilt said he expects next season's team to be led by junior attacker Corbin Wolfe and junior midfielder Tyler Smetanko, along with junior midfielder Steven Basiakos, who missed this season with a knee injury. Smetanko had 10 goals and Wolfe had nine.

"I'm going to have to have a much, much smaller team, which can have some benefits," Wilt said. "Being able to manage a smaller group of people, I'll be able to keep a closer eye on everyone and what they're doing and keep them motivated a little more. Having a smaller group also makes the group dynamic a little bit different and makes it easier to manage as well."

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedule for the Davidson boys lacrosse team:

May 20 -- Defeated Olentangy 7-5. Sky Strahler scored three goals and Andy Roberts, Cody Topp, Danny Winland and Zach Hurley had one.

Saturday -- Def. Westerville Central 13-8 in first round of Division I, Region 2 tournament. Strahler and Drew Morrison scored three goals, Hurley had two and Roberts, Topp, Winland, Derek Hohn and Caleb Loesch had one. Dylan Meyer had nine saves.

Last Wednesday -- Played Dublin Jerome in regional semifinal. The winner will play Saturday against Worthington Kilbourne or St. Charles in a regional final. The higher-seeded team will play at home. Davidson is seeded third, Kilbourne is seeded first and St. Charles is seeded fourth. The winner of the regional final will play Tuesday at Upper Arlington against Hudson, North Canton Hoover, Medina or Cleveland St. Ignatius in a state semifinal.

Of note: The Wildcats were 12-7 before last Wednesday.

At a glance

DARBY

•Record: 3-13 overall, 0-6 (eighth) in OCC-Buckeye

•Seniors lost: Austin Bragg, Ryan Fike, Chris Howard, Nick Liddil, Cody Moore, Collin Moore, Miguel Morales, Adam Rybinski and Mitch Shroyer

•Key returnees: Steven Basiakos, Tyler Smetanko and Corbin Wolfe