One blowout win should lead to another for the Reynoldsburg High School girls basketball team.

One blowout win should lead to another for the Reynoldsburg High School girls basketball team.

The Raiders are the top seed in the Division I district tournament and were rewarded in the first two rounds by playing opponents that combined to go 0-40 during the regular season.

Reynoldsburg, ranked fifth in the final state poll, rolled to a 94-5 win over winless Chillicothe in the opening round Feb. 19 at Hamilton Township to improve to 20-1. It will face winless Columbus West in the second round at 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 25, at Olentangy. West had a first-round bye.

Despite having two early tournament games against overmatched opponents, coach Jack Purtell isn't worried about his team developing bad habits in the games or losing focus during practice.

"We've stayed tough on (the players) in practice," said Purtell, whose team defeated West 88-24 in the first round of the tournament last season. "Plus, the kids are experienced and we have excellent leadership. Our senior, Kacia Grant, will not let them to let down at all."

If Reynoldsburg advances, it would play 12th-seeded Hilliard Davidson or Dublin Jerome in a district semifinal at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 2, at Olentangy Liberty. Possible opponents for the district final at 7 p.m. March 5 at Liberty, include fourth-seeded Watterson, sixth-seeded Brookhaven, Pickerington Central or Westerville South.

Davidson improved to 15-6 with a 50-33 win over Groveport in the first round on Feb. 19. That same day, Jerome improved to 12-8 with a 40-33 win over New Albany.

Reynoldsburg has not played Davidson or Jerome this season.

Every member on the Raiders' roster played against Chillicothe, as Reynoldsburg led 35-2 after one quarter, 47-2 at halftime and 74-2 at the end of three quarters.

Aliyah Zantt came off the bench to lead Reynoldsburg with 18 points. Adesuwa Aideyman scored 13 points and Shiloh Murphy scored 10. Eight other players scored for the Raiders.

Among those who played was sophomore guard Yamonie Jenkins, who sprained her right ankle in the third quarter of a 46-38 win over Gahanna on Feb. 11. Jenkins practiced little in the week leading up to the Chillicothe game but, according to Purtell, was able to play between 12 and 14 minutes against the Cavaliers and scored nine points.

"Reynoldsburg is a great basketball team," Pickerington North coach Dave Butcher said after a 59-47 loss to the Raiders on Jan. 28.

Butcher particularly was impressed with the inside play of 6-foot sophomore Destini Cooper and 6-1 freshman Alyssa Rice.

Lancaster coach Sarah Chevalier, whose team lost to the Raiders 59-28 on Dec. 21 and 59-40 on Feb. 4, says she sees no real weaknesses in Reynoldsburg.

"They have so many athletes that can get to the basket," Chevalier said. "How do you stop their posts? Zantt scored 24 against us off the bench in our second meeting, and I think the biggest key is they play as if they like each other, and that's a trait that's deadly."

According to Gahanna coach Rick Hauser, you can't forget about the Raiders' guard play, particularly Grant.

"The key to Reynoldsburg is Grant puts so much pressure on the ball," Hauser said. "She can take whoever she wants out of the game and take a team out of their game. Plus, she's so unselfish on offense."

Purtell knows his team has a chance to advance deep into the tournament.

"No. 1, we take great pride in our defense," he said. "Offensively, you can't double team us in the post because we have good shooters. It seems like every night someone else steps up for us."