Rebounding and patience will be the keys when the Hilliard Bradley High School girls basketball team battles Olentangy in a Division I district semifinal at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 1, at Olentangy Orange.

Rebounding and patience will be the keys when the Hilliard Bradley High School girls basketball team battles Olentangy in a Division I district semifinal at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 1, at Olentangy Orange.

The Jaguars must be able to limit the rebounding advantage that the taller Braves have against most opponents. Olentangy starts 6-foot-3 senior Ronnie Kenley and 6-0 junior Megan Beidelman in the post, as well as 5-10 junior Katie Heath, who can play on the wing or in the post.

"For three years now, we've been the underdog on the boards in nearly every game we've played and we've adjusted well," Bradley coach Kathy Lindsey said. "The guards in our program know they have to rebound and they've become good rebounders. We believe in lifting weights and I think that's definitely made a difference with our older, 5-foot-8 guards."

The Braves, who were 13th in the final state poll, are seeded seventh in the district tournament. They advanced by beating Westland 52-42 in the first round Feb. 15 and Delaware 70-38 in the second round Feb. 21.

Olentangy is 20-2, with its losses being 62-61 to Dublin Scioto on Dec. 6 and 60-55 to Louisville (Ky.) Butler on Dec. 28 in a KSA tournament in Orlando, Fla.

The Braves have a strong inside-outside game, so cheating off the perimeter to help on post defense is risky. Against Delaware, senior guard Nicole Payne made four 3-pointers en route to a team-best 14 points. Point guard Gina Miccinilli had 12 points, as did Beidelman. Kenley added six points, eight rebounds and five blocks.

Bradley advanced by beating Lancaster 54-31 in the second round Feb. 21 to improve to 15-7.

The Jaguars also have been getting more scoring balance. Senior Jasmine Junkins, a 5-10 post player, had 14 points and 11 rebounds against the Golden Gales. Senior shooting guard Brooke Espenschied had 20 points and 5-11 freshman post player Ashley Hummel added eight points. Senior point guard Katie Lindsey had seven assists.

"We did a nice job with ball reversal and they were playing Jasmine high, so we could get the ball to her on a lob without backside defensive help," coach Lindsey said. "Then they started cheating off and we were able to make five 3-pointers.

"The kids are doing a great job listening to the game plan, working hard in practice and carrying it over into the games. Even the reserve players are playing their roles well. Since Christmas, the older kids have connected with the younger ones on and off the court. The team bonding, playing together and buying into the team concept has improved greatly, and that cohesion is important. Everyone seems comfortable with their roles now and I think that shows in our record."

The winner plays top-seeded Reynoldsburg or ninth-seeded Watterson in a district final at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 3, at Orange.

Reynoldsburg advanced by beating Groveport 90-32 in the first round and Franklin Heights 109-15 in the second round. The Raiders, who were the top-ranked team in the final state poll, are 22-0 entering their matchup with Watterson on Thursday, March 1.

Reynoldsburg is led by senior guard Aliyah Zantt, junior guards Yamonie Jenkins and Shiloh Murphy, 6-0 junior post player Destini Cooper and 6-3 sophomore post player Alyssa Rice.

Watterson improved to 18-4 by beating Grove City 69-34 in the first round and Hilliard Darby 51-34 in the second round.

The Eagles, who have won 10 of their last 11, are led by senior guards Ashley Andracki and Regina Smith, 5-10 junior post player Kayla Cook and 5-9 junior forward Annie Garvin. Other contributors are 5-10 senior Celeste Cantwell and 5-10 sophomore Alexis Mayle.

Andracki led the Eagles in scoring average through 21 games at 11.3 points, followed by Cook (8.1), Gavin (8.1) and Smith (5.8).

The district champion advances to a regional semifinal at 6:15 p.m. Tuesday, March 6, at Otterbein University against the North Canton District champion. In those district semifinals Thursday, March 1, Wooster plays Uniontown Green and Canton McKinley plays North Canton Hoover.

Canton McKinley was sixth in the final state poll. North Canton Hoover was 14th.

The regional final is 1 p.m. March 10 at Otterbein.

•The boys team stayed with taller Dublin Coffman through three quarters, but the Shamrocks used a 28-15 fourth quarter to pull away to a 69-50 win over the Jaguars in the first round of the Division I district tournament Feb. 25 at Reynoldsburg.

Bradley, playing in the Division I postseason for the first time, is now 0-3 in district tournament contests.

The Jaguars lost to Bexley 64-60 in the first round of the Division II district tournament last season after losing to Granville 51-46 in Division II in the program's first season.

Bradley entered the postseason on a roll, having won nine of 13 games in the 2012 portion of the schedule after losing its first six contests. The Jaguars finished 9-12 overall.

A.J. Dixon led Bradley with 15 points against Coffman, while Jacob Starinsky and Trent Weaver both scored 13.

Kevin Marsh scored 19 to lead the Shamrocks, who improved to 13-8 and advanced to play 11th-seeded Gahanna in the second round Friday, March 2.