A 40-32 home win Jan. 27 over Pickerington North has the Reynoldsburg High School girls basketball team on the brink of an OCC-Ohio Division title, its first undefeated regular season and a possible No. 1 seed in the Division I district tournament.

A 40-32 home win Jan. 27 over Pickerington North has the Reynoldsburg High School girls basketball team on the brink of an OCC-Ohio Division title, its first undefeated regular season and a possible No. 1 seed in the Division I district tournament.

The Raiders, by completing a season sweep of the Panthers, improved to 17-0 overall and 11-0 in the OCC-Ohio. With three league games to play, they are two games ahead of the Panthers.

Reynoldsburg has been ranked first in three consecutive Division I state polls through last week, also a first for the program.

The district tournament draw is Sunday, Feb. 5.

"If (an undefeated season) happens it would be great, but if not, it's not the end of the world," coach Jack Purtell said. "It would be a nice accomplishment, but it's never really been our goal. We challenged our kids with a tough non-league schedule."

In non-league games, the Raiders won 54-39 at Toledo Notre Dame in the opener Nov. 26, won three games in a tournament in Fort Myers, Fla., over winter break and defeated Mason 42-35 (on Jan. 14) and Liberty Township Lakota East 58-42 (on Jan. 15) in the Classic in the Country at Berlin Hiland.

The Raiders are focused on the postseason, not their record.

"(Being) 17-0 is definitely nice, but in the tournament your record doesn't matter," sophomore Alyssa Rice said.

Senior Aliyah Zantt agreed.

"Going undefeated would be great, but we've still got a lot of work to do," she said. "Anything can happen and we have to keep working like we usually do and have all season."

Zantt led all scorers with 11 points against North, and Rice had 10 points and eight rebounds.

North, ranked third in last week's state poll, dropped to 15-2 overall. Christy Macioce scored 10 points for the Panthers, who also lost to Reynoldsburg 41-37 on Dec. 16.

The Panthers lost sophomore post player Jessica Wachtman for the remainder of the season midway through the second quarter. Rice fell on Wachtman, who sustained a broken left collarbone. The game was tied at 12 when Wachtman was hurt.

Early in the fourth, North's Taylor Jones hit a jumper to cut Reynoldsburg's lead to 30-27. Zantt and Adesuwa Aideyman then hit 3-pointers to make it 36-27 with 5 minutes, 30 seconds remaining.

"That six-point swing was a big moment in the game," North coach Dave Butcher said. "We also had five turnovers in the third quarter and you just can't get that many no-shot possessions against a great team like Reynoldsburg."

Purtell wasn't surprised by Zantt's performance.

"She's done that for us the last couple of years," he said. "She has a scorer's mentality and just works so hard. She's not afraid with the game on the line."

Shiloh Murphy had nine points and three rebounds for the Raiders, and Destini Cooper had four points and 10 rebounds. Yamonie Jenkins had six assists and had three steals.

Cooper lauded the effort of her teammates.

"(This game) shows how much each individual has improved and how much each person brings to the team," she said. "Myself, I wasn't scoring (against North), so I felt I had to get it done on defense and had to get the boards."

Cooper and Rice held North's Brittany Johnson to six points.

"Destini has been scoring a lot lately and she had a great floor game (against North)," Purtell said. "Alyssa had one of her best games of the year. ... The whole team played an excellent game."

Reynoldsburg now has defeated North five consecutive times: twice this season, twice last season and also in a 2010 regional final.

"It's such an honor to beat a great team like North," Zantt said. "It makes us want to do all we can to work even harder."

The Raiders play Friday, Feb. 3, at Lancaster, play host to Groveport on Tuesday, Feb. 7, and play host to Gahanna on Feb. 10 in the OCC-Ohio and regular-season finale.

Reynoldsburg can clinch at least a tie for the league title by beating Lancaster.

Purtell is not worried his team will look too far ahead.

"Sure, it would be neat to finish undefeated, but the kids are grounded, and they approach each game one at a time," he said. "We are a defensive team first and haven't had any letdowns there. Offensively, we've done what we've had to do to win every game."