Hilliard Davidson High School boys basketball coach Kevin Logsdon said his team will need to slow Grove City's transition game when the teams meet in the second round of the Division I district tournament at 7:45 p.m. Thursday, March 1, at Marysville.

Hilliard Davidson High School boys basketball coach Kevin Logsdon said his team will need to slow Grove City's transition game when the teams meet in the second round of the Division I district tournament at 7:45 p.m. Thursday, March 1, at Marysville.

But that doesn't mean the Wildcats are planning to slow the pace when they have the ball.

The winner will face ninth-seeded Olentangy Orange or Reynoldsburg in a district semifinal at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 7, at Marysville. The semifinal winner advances to a district final March 10 in the Fairgrounds Coliseum.

"We know that Grove City likes to run and play a real up-tempo game," said Logsdon, whose team improved to 12-9 with a 54-47 win over Thomas Worthington in the first round of the tournament Feb. 25. "It's going to be a contrast in styles in that we don't want the score of the game to go up in the 70s or 80s because that would favor Grove City. Their sideline break concerns us and so a big key is making sure we play good transition defense so they can't fly by us for easy baskets.

"But we certainly don't object to running and scoring that way ourselves, and we're going to look for those opportunities instead of coming out and holding the ball to try to slow the game down."

The 10th seed, Grove City beat Westland 83-79 in the first round Feb. 25 to improve to 15-6, as 6-foot-5 junior guard Brandon Bapst had 24 points, 6-4 senior guard Brad Saxton scored 19 and 6-0 senior guard Deaunta Williams scored 11.

"They have several kids who can shoot the ball, so we really need to get out and guard them," Logsdon said.

Chris Logsdon is averaging a team-high 11.7 points for the Wildcats, followed by Brandon Gleim (11.5), Davonte Peterson (9.6), Cole Lawson (7.3) and Michael Simon (4.1).

"Their defensive pressure is very intense," Gleim said of Grove City. "They get in your face the whole game and they like to pressure you all the way up the court. We need to keep our composure, make good decisions and be strong with the ball. We've had good balance on offense and we'll need to keep that up in this game."

The Wildcats did not play Grove City, Orange or Reynoldsburg during the regular season.

Against Thomas, Davidson trailed 17-10 in the second quarter but pulled within 21-19 by halftime and outscored the Cardinals 35-26 in the second half.

Lawson had 13 points and Gleim, Peterson and Simon all scored 11 to lead the Wildcats, who swept Thomas in OCC-Central Division play during the regular season, winning 44-43 on Dec. 9 and 56-51 on Jan. 24.

"We didn't give up many easy baskets or turn the ball over much," coach Logsdon said. "We knew that Cole was our X-factor and he really came through for us. Michael Simon played his best game of the year, both offensively and defensively. And Davonte did a great job of making 11 of his 12 free throws in the fourth quarter to help hold them off."

•The girls team struggled when faced with defensive pressure during the regular season.

That trend continued during a 45-40 loss to 12th-seeded Zanesville in the second round of the Division I district tournament Feb. 22 at Pickerington Central, as the Wildcats built a 27-18 halftime lead only to be outscored 27-13 in the second half.

Senior point guard Madie Long had 14 points for the Wildcats, who finished 11-11.

"We have trouble dealing with adversity and it's been that way all year," coach Joy Taylor said. "When teams press us and the crowd gets into it, we tend to run into trouble. Their hands were everywhere and they were able to get strips, steals and layups. I felt like we were going full-speed ahead at 100 mph when we didn't need to play that way. Their pressure forced us to hurry with the ball at a time when we needed to make them play defense."

The loss wrapped up an up-and-down season for the Wildcats, who went 3-0 against the other Hilliard teams, beating Bradley 60-53 on Nov. 29 and defeating Darby 56-42 on Dec. 2 and 47-32 on Jan. 12.

Davidson avenged two of its losses during the second half of the season, as it lost to Thomas 45-40 on Dec.9 and New Albany 63-52 in overtime on Dec. 27, only to defeat the Cardinals 62-46 on Jan. 20 and beat the Eagles 47-39 on Jan. 10.

The Wildcats went 7-7 in the OCC-Central to finish fourth, behind Dublin Coffman (13-1), Upper Arlington (12-2) and Central Crossing (11-3) and ahead of Thomas (6-8), Darby (4-10), Westland (2-12) and Worthington Kilbourne (1-13).

"We played well at times and not so well at other times," said Taylor, whose team opened tournament play with a 51-38 win over Westerville South on Feb. 16. "Our highlights happened when we played together and cared about the team first, because that wasn't always the case."

Davidson will lose two senior starters in Long and forward Katie Dymek. Long averaged 8.7 points and was honorable mention all-league and all-district, and Dymek averaged 8.0 points and was second-team all-league and honorable mention all-district.

Players who started multiple games and are expected to return are junior guard Lauren Bates, junior center Bri Ekanem, junior forward Ashley Hurt and sophomore guard Lea Edler.

Bates averaged 12 points and was first-team all-league and honorable mention all-district, and Ekanem averaged 7.3 points and was special mention all-league. Hurt averaged 8.1 points before missing the last six games with a bruised nerve in her right foot.

"We have four starters coming back and some other girls who got some good minutes from our bench, so I'm excited about next year," Taylor said.