Pickerington Times-Sun

Girls Basketball

Central, North roll in tourney


Lopsided wins carried the Pickerington High School Central and North girls basketball teams into Division I district semifinals.

Fifth-seeded Central, which improved to 17-7 with a 60-27 rout of 44th-seeded Dresden Tri-Valley in a second-round home game Feb. 19, plays Olentangy at 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27, at Hamilton Township. It is the Tigers' first district semifinal appearance since 2011.

Taylor Johnson scored 23 points against Tri-Valley and Katrina Williams added 18 for Central, which led 34-12 at halftime.

Central has not advanced past the district semifinal round since 2009, when it won its fourth consecutive district title and lost to Dublin Coffman in a regional semifinal.

The Tigers did not play Olentangy during the regular season. The winner plays sixth-seeded Zanesville or ninth-seeded Coffman in a district final at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 1, at Ohio Dominican.

The district champion plays DeSales, Newark, Upper Arlington or Watterson in a regional semifinal at 8 p.m. Tuesday, March 4, at Otterbein. The regional final is March 7 at Otterbein.

Fourteenth-seeded North never was threatened in its 87-13 rout of 43th-seeded Dublin Scioto in a second-round home game Feb. 19.

Jordan Toohey's 15 points led a balanced effort that featured five players in double figures. Morgan Bassett-Smith tied a career-high with 14 points, Brittany Johnson and Lauren Lipscomb scored 12 apiece and Cameron Shedenhelm had 11 as the Panthers improved to 13-10.

They led 22-4 after a quarter, 45-6 at halftime and shut out the Irish 20-0 in the fourth quarter.

North plays seventh-seeded Westerville North in a district semifinal at 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27, at Jonathan Alder. The teams did not play during the regular season.

North's win was the 699th of coach Dave Butcher's career. The state's winningest coach, Butcher is 699-98 in 31 seasons.

The semifinal winner plays fourth-seeded Northland or 10th-seeded Mount Vernon in a district final at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 1, at Ohio Dominican. That winner plays Gahanna, Hilliard Bradley, Reynoldsburg or Westland in a regional semifinal at 6:15 p.m. Tuesday, March 4, at Otterbein.

North, which did not play its potential district final opponents during the regular season, was 0-4 against Gahanna and Reynoldsburg in OCC-Ohio Division games. It did not play its other potential regional semifinal opponents.

The Panthers are seeking their first district championship since 2011, having lost to Gahanna in district finals each of the past two seasons.