The Reynoldsburg High School girls basketball team broke through a wall last Friday.

The Reynoldsburg High School girls basketball team broke through a wall last Friday.

The Raiders defeated Pickerington North 52-38 in an OCC-Ohio Division game, marking their first league win over the Panthers. Reynoldsburg had lost its first four OCC-Ohio contests against North.

"This was a good program win, to beat a Pickerington North," coach Jack Purtell said.

The two-time defending OCC-Ohio champion, North led 36-32 after the third quarter, but the Raiders scored the first 14 points of the fourth quarter to take a 46-36 lead with three minutes remaining.

"The key to the game was in the fourth quarter, we started rebounding their misses," said Purtell, whose team was 5-1 overall and 4-0 in the OCC-Ohio before playing Lancaster last Tuesday. "We said all along whoever rebounded the ball better would win the game. They ended up with the rebounding edge for the game, but we had it in the fourth quarter."

North coach Dave Butcher, whose team fell to 3-1 in the OCC-Ohio with the loss, said his team couldn't capitalize on its scoring chances.

"We couldn't put the ball in the basket," he said. "We missed layups, missed free throws and had opportunities with putbacks, we just couldn't put the ball in the basket. Reynoldsburg is a good, young and hungry team. They went on a run, got in control and we let it slip away."

Reynoldsburg outscored the Panthers 20-2 in the fourth quarter.

Junior Aliyah Zantt led the Raiders with a career-high 19 points, including 12 in the first half.

"I felt the adrenaline flowing and was just trying to get the team involved," Zantt said. "We started slow, but our goal was to get out in transition and push the ball and play our game."

Reynoldsburg led 11-6 after one quarter and 22-20 at halftime.

Though the Panthers owned a 41-24 rebounding edge for the game, Reynoldsburg was able to get key rebounds in the fourth quarter.

Sophomore Destini Cooper had eight points and eight rebounds and freshman Alyssa Rice had 10 points (all in the fourth quarter) and seven rebounds. Kavunaa Edwards led North with 13 points.

Reynoldsburg, which defeated North 45-34 in a Division I regional final last season, now owns a two-game winning streak against the Panthers. But the Raiders know that the win does not guarantee them the OCC-Ohio championship.

"We knew before the game that if we won, it wouldn't make our season, and if we lost, it wouldn't end our hopes," Purtell said.

"It feels good, but we know we have a lot of work to do and we know we'll see Pickerington North again," Zantt said.

Reynoldsburg travels to Fort Myers, Fla., for three games in the Basketball Brothers Inc. Invitational, which opens Tuesday and concludes Dec. 30. The Raiders return to league play Jan. 3 at home against Groveport.

"We want to keep playing good basketball, win all the games and have fun," Cooper said of the trip to Florida.

At a glance

Below are the recent results and coming schedule for the Reynoldsburg girls basketball team:

*Dec. 7 - Defeated Grove City 83-29. Yamonie Jenkins led six Raiders in double figures with 16 points.

*Dec. 10 - Def. Newark 62-44. Alyssa Rice scored 19 points, Shiloh Murphy scored 12 and Adesuwa Aideyman scored 10.

*Last Friday - Def. Pickerington North 52-38. Aliyah Zantt had a career-high 19 points.

*Last Tuesday - Played Lancaster

Tuesday-Dec. 30 - Basketball Brothers Inc. Invitational at Fort Myers, Fla. The Raiders will play Tampa (Fla.) Jefferson in first round and Fort Pierce (Fla.) Lincoln Park or Naples (Fla.) in a semifinal or in the loser's bracket. Games for seventh, fifth, third and first place will be played Dec. 30. Jefferson was 28-4 last season.

*Jan. 3 - Home vs. Groveport

Of note: The Raiders were 5-1 overall and 4-0 in the OCC-Ohio before last Tuesday.

*OCC-Ohio game