The development of sophomore Wendell Davis' inside game was among the key factors behind the improvement of the Reynoldsburg High School boys basketball team after it lost five of its first six to open the season.

The development of sophomore Wendell Davis' inside game was among the key factors behind the improvement of the Reynoldsburg High School boys basketball team after it lost five of its first six to open the season.

The Raiders entered the Division I district tournament believing their outside shooting also has transformed into a strength.

In a 71-68 overtime loss to Marion-Franklin on Feb. 5, juniors Spencer Kirksey and R.J. Raglin both made three 3-pointers and junior Chris Lee added one 3.

Reynoldsburg also had three or more players make at least one 3-pointer in a 74-47 victory over Groveport on Feb. 8 and in a 68-53 loss to Gahanna on Feb. 11.

"We've started hitting more 3-pointers," Raglin said. "We've been working more outside-in so that we can stretch the floor. We've shown more of an ability to hit outside shots."

Raglin, who was the team's third-leading scorer during the regular season averaging eight points, is gaining confidence in his outside shot.

Davis was averaging 14 points entering the postseason, and Kirksey has been the team's best outside shooter, averaging 12 points and making 37 3-pointers during the regular season.

Although his playing time has been sporadic, sophomore guard Jaylen Givens was second on the team in 3-pointers during the regular season with 13.

The Raiders were the 26th seed entering their tournament opener Feb. 22 against 19th-seeded Independence. The winner plays 11th-seeded Marion-Franklin or 25th-seeded Pickerington Central in the second round at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25, at Worthington Christian Middle School.

In the Raiders' regular-season matchup with Marion-Franklin, 6-foot-8 post player Elijah Macon led the Red Devils with 30 points and junior Jacoby Howard had 20 points, including three 3-pointers. Davis led five Raiders who scored in double figures with 16 points.

Reynoldsburg lost to Central 73-56 in its regular-season finale Feb. 18 but hung with the Tigers in a 50-46 loss Jan. 14.

If the Raiders pull upsets in each of the first two rounds of the tournament, they likely will face top-seeded Westerville South in a district semifinal March 5 at the Fairgrounds Coliseum.

Reynoldsburg lost to the Wildcats 82-78 in overtime on Dec. 14.

Raglin believed heading into the tournament that his team had benefited from a schedule that included six games against area Division I teams seeded in the top 12 as well as two other contests against strong out-of-area competition.

"Our team defense has gotten better," coach Chris Rider said. "We've just been better all-around (in the last month).

"Wendell has been our go-to guy all year. He's still a young guy as a sophomore, but he really plays with a lot of heart. Spencer's one of the better 3-point shooters around and R.J. has been a slasher. Chris Lee has been one of the better defenders in our league and (Josh) Albrecht and (Ryan) Carter have played their roles. I think we've gotten better at the rules of how we want them to play."

AT A GLANCE

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

*Feb. 18 - Lost to Pickerington Central 73-56. Wendell Davis scored 17 points and Spencer Kirksey scored 15 for the Raiders, who trailed 34-33 at halftime but were outscored 19-9 in the third quarter.

Feb. 22 - Played Independence in first round of Division I district tournament. Winner plays 11th-seeded Marion-Franklin or Pickerington Central in second round, 8 p.m. Feb. 25 at Worthington Christian Middle School. Winner plays in district semifinal, 10 a.m. March 5 at Fairgrounds Coliseum.

Of note: The Raiders were 8-12 overall before Feb. 22 and finished 7-7 (fifth) in the OCC-Ohio, behind co-champions Gahanna and Pickerington North (13-1), Newark (8-6) and Pickerington Central (8-6), and ahead of Grove City (5-9), Groveport (1-13) and Lancaster (1-13).

*OCC-Ohio game