The Hilliard Davidson High School boys basketball team has plenty of tall players, including 6-foot-6 post players Michael Simon and Nick Potts, 6-6 wing player Jimmy Ratliff, 6-5 post player Luke Mayer and 6-4 wing player Max Huber.
That doesn't mean the Wildcats will be content to play a plodding style of half-court offense this season. Despite holding a slight height advantage over Central Crossing in their opener Dec. 13, the Wildcats pushed the ball and scored several baskets in transition on the way to earning a 50-43 victory in an OCC-Central Division game.
"Even though we have a lot of height, we definitely have the ability to catch teams off guard by running the floor and scoring easy baskets with our transition offense," Simon said. "Our transition offense is very good compared to last year's team and we were able to beat Central Crossing to the glass and outrun them down the court several times."
The Wildcats ran into a much quicker opponent the following night in a 65-41 loss at Westerville South.
Davidson was 1-1 overall and 1-0 in the OCC-Central before playing Westland on Dec. 17.
"(The second) game was an eye-opener for us," Simon said. "Westerville South played at a tempo we aren't used to and shocked us with the pressure they put on us. When we play a team with that kind of quickness, we need to push the ball when we can and do a better job of running our half-court offense when we can't score in transition. Hopefully, we'll learn from this loss and grow from it."
Simon had 17 points and 11 rebounds against Central Crossing and 16 points against South.
"Michael's playing extremely well considering he is coming back from a knee injury and just received the green light to play (on Dec. 13)," coach Kevin Logsdon said. "He stepped up and carried us at times in each game."
Josh Stimmel scored 10 points against Central Crossing and seven points against South, while Potts scored eight points against South and seven points against the Comets.
"Josh Stimmel has improved so much and when I need to kick the ball out of the post, I can always count on him to hit a shot or make a play," Simon said. "Nick Potts has gotten so much stronger from playing football and he's a lot more aggressive in the post. Max Huber, Jimmy Ratliff and Matt Waters have improved a lot, too."
The Wildcats play host to Upper Arlington in a league game Friday, Dec. 20, and visit Stow-Munroe Falls on Saturday, Dec. 21.
Last season, Davidson lost to UA 60-33 and 53-39 and fell to Stow-Munroe Falls 49-38.
"Upper Arlington and Stow are both physical, half-court teams, so we'll have to be ready to be physical ourselves and defend against their style of play," Logsdon said. "We only had about a week and a half of practice together as a whole team after we got several of our players back from the football team who made a deep run in the playoffs, and we're trying to make up for what everyone else was able to do with four or five weeks of practice. But our guys are learning to play together quickly and I think we have the talent to be successful."
Girls squad still struggling
The girls team continued to struggle last week, going 0-3 to drop to 1-6 overall and 0-3 in the OCC-Central before playing Westland on Dec. 17.
The Wildcats lost to Dublin Coffman 65-32 in a league game Dec. 11, fell to Central Crossing 35-23 in a league game Dec. 13 and lost to Watterson 62-36 on Dec. 14.
Against Watterson, Hannah Fecht scored 10 points and Baylee Lawson scored nine.
Davidson plays a league game Friday, Dec. 20, at Upper Arlington. The Wildcats swept the Golden Bears last season, winning 36-28 at home and 56-43 at UA.