When the Reynoldsburg High School boys basketball team captured its first Division I district championship in 2006, a pair of players who were seniors that season averaged a combined 40 points, and both ended up earning Division I scholarships.

When the Reynoldsburg High School boys basketball team captured its first Division I district championship in 2006, a pair of players who were seniors that season averaged a combined 40 points, and both ended up earning Division I scholarships.

While the Raiders still have questions to answer before they can be considered a district-title contender this season, they do have one striking thing in common with that team.

Seniors Kevin Gray and Branden Rushton give Reynoldsburg a tandem that might be as good offensively as any in central Ohio.

Javonte Clanton averaged 23.1 points and was the ThisWeek Super 12 Captain as a senior in 2005-06, while classmate Evan Washington averaged 17.2 points and was Super 12 honorable mention.

Washington is in the midst of his junior season for Air Force.

Clanton, who originally signed with Niagara, became a starting guard for the University of South Carolina-Aiken basketball team. After helping South Carolina-Aiken reach the Division II NCAA tournament last season, he died in a car crash March 18.

"In just kind of the way they score, they do remind you of Clanton and Washington," coach Chris Rider said. "Javont controlled the game so much, and he and Evan just had a great thing together. Rushton's a guy that can score in multiple ways. He really did a good job working on his 3-point shooting over the summer and he's always been a good slasher guy. He's a good free-throw shooter and has become a better defender.

"With Kevin's situation over the summer, he didn't have to do quite as much on his AAU team as some guys, but right now he's got to do a lot of things for us like draw some fouls, run the point some and shoot the 3. And he's probably the best defender in central Ohio. He does everything well."

Through six games, Gray was averaging 18.2 points. He scored just three points in limited action, however, in a 61-49 loss to Zanesville on Dec. 12 because of sickness and still wasn't back Dec. 15 when the Raiders lost to Westerville South 68-40.

Not including the Zanesville game, Gray is averaging 22 points.

While the Morehead State University-signee was expected to become the focal point on offense after averaging 15.6 a year ago, Rushton's emergence wasn't as predictable.

Rushton was the third-leading scorer for Reynoldsburg last year at 9.3 per game but scored 24 in an opening 76-65 win over Massillon Perry on Dec. 4 and has had two other games of at least 20.

With Gray's time limited against Zanesville, Rushton finished with 25 points.

"We know that a lot of teams were going to be keying on Kevin going into the season," Rushton said. "Now teams have to focus on me and Kevin both. With two scorers, it's kind of hard to defend us. Kevin is more of a drive-and-shoot player, and I can get into the lane a little bit more. We'll both knock down a shot when we have to."

Gray returned last Friday against Pickerington North and made three 3-pointers and finished with 24 points as the Raiders fell 62-56.

Rushton contributed two 3-pointers and 20 points overall as the Raiders fell 62-56.

Gray, who is 5-foot-11, has been sharing the main ball-handling duties with the 6-2 Rushton and 5-9 senior Brandon Mitchell.

Last season, post player Reggie Walls, a 2009 graduate, was the Raiders' leader in scoring average at 15.8.

"(Both Rushton and I) can score," Gray said. "Teams can't really double-team me because we're both threats. Last year I shot 3-pointers and went to the basket some, but this year I'm shooting more of a mid-range shot which has opened up things for me.

"We had Reggie last year, so Branden's shot it a lot more this season. He's got more confidence, and his defense is coming along. Individually we're all getting a lot better on defense."