Hilliard Davidson High School boys basketball coach Kevin Logsdon doesn't want his team to get caught in a high-scoring, fast-paced game when it plays Grove City in its Division I district tournament opener.
The Wildcats are seeded 33rd of 42 teams and travel to 16th-seeded Grove City for the first round at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 22.
"This will be a nice challenge for us because Grove City likes to get up and down the court a little more than most teams that we see," Logsdon said. "They like to run the floor and they put a lot of defensive pressure on you.
"I don't want to try to beat Grove City at its own game. We need to control the tempo by executing our offense and making sure we get good looks. We also need to limit their transition scoring by being disruptive on defense and making them do things they aren't comfortable doing."
Davidson, which closed the regular season with a 71-57 loss to Marysville on Feb. 15 to fall to 5-17 overall, has not played Grove City this season but faced the Greyhounds in the postseason a year ago, winning 54-40 in the second round.
Grove City enters the tournament on a five-game winning streak. It beat Pickerington North in its regular-season finale 41-32 on Feb. 15 to improve to 14-8, as 6-foot-5 guard Brandon Bapst scored 18 points.
Other key players for Grove City include 6-4 forward Devonta Thomas and 6-2 guard Christian Meister.
"Grove City's more of a fast-paced team that likes to push the ball and has very good shooters, so we'll need to slow it down and play at our pace, just like we did last year," said 6-6 post player Michael Simon, who is Davidson's lone returnee and scored seven points against Grove City in the postseason matchup a year ago. "The biggest key is that we run our half-court offense well. We need to make the right passes and make sure we don't get ahead of ourselves and turn it over a bunch of times."
The Wildcats will look to get the ball inside to Simon and 6-4 post player Michael Kreiser.
"We need to get the ball inside like we have all year because Mike Simon's been our most consistent scorer," Logsdon said. "(Wing player) Scottie Munson's been scoring more, and (wing players) Luke (Brorein) and Josh (Stimmel) have been shooting the ball better lately."
The first-round winner will play seventh-seeded Dublin Coffman or 32nd-seeded Dublin Jerome in the second round at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27, at the home of the higher seed.
Davidson was swept by Coffman in OCC-Central Division play, losing 62-46 on Dec. 7 and 73-50 on Jan. 18. The Wildcats have not played Jerome this season.
"We're motivated anytime we get the chance to play Dublin Coffman," Simon said. "They can play at a fast-tempo or slow it down, depending on what they need. We'll need to play really good defense to set up our offense with good scoring chances."
The second-round winner advances to a district semifinal March 6 at Pickerington North.
Davidson, which lost four of its final five regular-season games, finished 2-12 in the OCC-Central to place seventh, behind Olentangy Liberty (13-1), Coffman (12-2), Westland (9-5), Thomas Worthington (8-6), Upper Arlington (8-6) and Marysville (4-10) and ahead of Central Crossing (0-14).
Munson had a team-high 15 points against Marysville and scored 10 in a 44-37 loss to DeSales on Feb. 12.
Simon had 13 points against the Stallions.
Girls team wins tourney opener
The girls basketball team opened the Division I district tournament Feb. 16 at home with a 54-27 win over 28th-seeded Canal Winchester.
Seeded eighth of 43 teams, Davidson improved to 20-3 and advanced to play 14th-seeded Newark in the second round Feb. 20. The winner faces 23rd-seeded UA or 29th-seeded Westerville South in a district semifinal Feb. 28 at Bloom-Carroll.
Davidson swept UA in OCC-Central play, winning 36-28 on Dec. 21 and 58-43 on Feb. 1, and beat South 44-37 on Dec. 29.
Against Canal Winchester, point guard Lauren Bates had 20 points and guard Hannah Fecht scored 14 to lead the Wildcats, who led 32-12 at halftime.